or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Co-sleeping and the Family Bed › help us problem solve repeated night waking?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

help us problem solve repeated night waking? - Page 2

post #21 of 36

Sorry, I meant I agree with anjsmama about the gut issues....and picketma about the sleeping arrangements...thumb.gif

post #22 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks again to everyone for their continued responses!  We have some improvement over the last several nights.  For about 3 nights in a row she has been sleeping for 3h stretches, which is so much better!  Now if I can just figure out why, to make sure that it lasts...  (She's slept better in the past for several days and then suddenly regressed again.)  I don't know if the fact that she can fall asleep on her own just took several weeks before it would help her resettle in the middle of the night, or if it is just a fluke, or if there is some other rational explanation. 

 

Cassaba, thanks for the encouragement!  It's taken me 4 months to get through all the books - mostly on the kindle app on my iphone in bits and pieces - on the subway, while nursing (one book I read entirely on an overseas flight, in between distracting the LO).  I agree it's really tough to find time to read them (or try to think through how to act on them) - there were definitely large swaths of time during which I didn't read anything....

 

gemasita, thanks for the post - it's good to hear from you again. :) 

 

D_McG, you have a good point about age-appropriate responses.  What I find hard is knowing exactly what age-appropriate responses are for her exactly!  She seems able to sleep longer sometimes at this age, so theoretically she is capable of it, but it's just so unclear how we could help her do it more often! :)

 

jocelyndale, it's a great point about enough stimulation and activity.  I don't think this is a problem in our case, in that she does get lots of stimulation (sometimes too much here in NYC), although she doesn't crawl around a ton - she seems to prefer to practice standing rather than to move back and forth crawling on the floor.  I think she probably does often nap too much often, but I'm not exactly sure how to limit it.  I've been thinking about this all week - that maybe we should keep her from napping until at least 10am, and then try to not let her nap after 4pm (but this is HARD when she is really cranky at 5-6pm!).  I do work FT, so she is with her grandma during the day, so she could be trying to reverse cycle a little bit, but we had just as bad sleeping habits during the summer when I was working at home and we were all (me, DH, LO and grandma) in the same house and spending most of our time together.  I have several hours with her in the morning (grandma only takes her at 9am and she is up before dawn!) and in the evening, so I hope that helps her not needing to feel like she needs to wake up in the middle of the night?

 

llwr, thanks for sharing about your results with using DH to manage wakings.  I know I need to let DH try this more, but I find it so hard to listen to the crying, and she definitely settles much more quickly if I just feed her.  We also took the pacifier away (about a month to a month and a half ago maybe?) and didn't really notice much improvement (although I guess it did help her to resettle herself on her own after she practiced falling asleep w/o the pacifier a bunch of times). 

 

anjsmama, thanks for sharing your experience.  I thought your theory about the gut issues was really interesting - when DD did this night waking and thrashing as a newborn, she often would pass gas afterward and then settle down again, so I thought that she was having painful gas then, but the pediatrician didn't think this could be an issue.  She doesn't do the pulling up of the legs that she did as a newborn anymore, and I don't hear her pass gas that often nowadays, but maybe there is still some relationship?  There are definitely times when she just seems to thrash around so much that I think something must be making her uncomfortable...

 

picketma, thanks for the encouragement. :)  I know what you mean about which of us needs to be nightweaned - I'm already sad at the idea of her not sleeping next to me (even if that day doesn't come for a while), but I think she would do fine sleeping in her own bed (she sleeps fine on her own in the stroller or the carseat during naps...).  I guess I have thought about putting a mattress on the floor, but since she is such a little explorer, I'm worried about her crawling off when I am not sleeping and getting into outlets, etc (I'm never totally confident that she won't outsmart the baby-proofing stuff!).  We did do this during the summer (different house, where we had a mattress on the floor ourselves), but I started to get worried once she could crawl.  What do you guys do in order to feel confident that they won't get into something dangerous?

 

binga, thanks also for sharing what you've done.  It's interesting that you've found bicycling her legs helped.  I used to do that all the time with our daughter, but I haven't tried it again in months. 

 

 

We are super, super happy with the (hopefully not temporary?) improvement to her night waking that we've had the last several nights (I never thought 6.5h of sleep with 3 interruptions would be something I would celebrate as a "good" night's sleep, but it's soooo much more functional than repeated night wakings!).  Thanks again for everyone's suggestions!  (I bet we will continue to use them, especially when the next repeated waking spree starts.)

 

We are still struggling with getting a good naptime schedule, though.  The biggest issue right now seems to be that she is just REALLY irregular with her sleeping times and that she sleeps relatively little overnight and gets up super early.  I'm nervous about messing with anything right now since we've finally gotten somewhat decent sleep the last few nights, but if it keeps up, I think we do have to do something to get her to sleep more at night. 

 

I've been tracking her sleep times, and they range from 10 to 15.5 total hours per day, with naps ranging from 3 to 5.5h long, and nighttime sleep ranging from 7 to 10.5h long.  The only time of day she has not slept is 9-10am and 7-7:30pm - otherwise her naps and bedtime are all over the map!  The last 3 nights she has only slept about 7-8h at night - last night she was super tired and cranky but would not go to sleep until 9:30pm (in the carriage - I gave up with trying to get her to put herself to sleep since she would really start to cry every time), and then she was up at 5am (she's been up before dawn for a solid week now - she used to sleep until 7am, at least half the time).  It's clear that she's not sleeping enough at night, but once she is up, there is no getting her back to bed (or even playing quietly in bed - she will wrestle with me if I try to stay in bed...).  I guess we need to cut down her nap times and try to time them better, but I'm a little nervous about that destabilizing her nighttime sleep again - anyone have any advice on this front?

post #23 of 36

Frequent night wakings are both HEALTY and NORMAL:

http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsleepthrough.html
http://www.drjen4kids.com/soap%20box/sleep%20stuff.htm

 

Honestly this sounds like a case where you may be over analyzing her sleep patterns, when really you just need to listen to her cues and find better ways for YOU to cope with night wakings until she has reached the developmental stage where she can sleep better. Nighttime parenting is one of the most difficult aspects of parenting and I've always found that a healthier mindset is to focus on internal health/coping rather than what one may be doing wrong or what may be wrong with ones child if they don't meet (often arbitrary, unrealistic and purely cultural) expectations. 

Something to consider is that maternal attitude/mental state WILL reflect through the child so your anxiety about her sleep patterns may actually be causing them to begin with. Try doing yoga, meditating and/or taking some melatonin, magnesium, chamomile tea or motherwort before bed (if you are comfortable taking while nursing) to help you relax and stay at a calmer place when she stirs. 

You can also try having DH tire her out/burn up some of that physical energy with a brisk walk in a carrier or some light wrestling/tickling/chasing before bed. I recently read that an important part of juvenile mammalian rhythms is rough play at wake up and bedtime with a dominant but kindly caregiver (ie father, older sibling) and have always found that to be true in our home. DH and DS
Another thing you can try is having DH get up with her in the AM if you need to catch up on sleep. We do this in our home and it usually results in coffee or even breakfast in bed which is never a bad thing orngbiggrin.gif

post #24 of 36

Great to see you've been getting results by asking for help and trying new things! I haven't read every word, but the post just before mine (vacaisle) is more along the lines of my advice.... there is a saying in a country not ours, can't remember which one, that goes "when a child cries, treat the mother". Our personal mental and emotional energy directly affects our children, I've watched it countless times! So my advice would be this. Stop thinking about sleep, and think about something new! We are all vibrating atoms. Sound, light, air, rocks, our bodies, it is all vibrating. We can gooey up the vibration though, so sing, dance, jiggle, wiggle, growl, be silly and goofy and fun! Feel every atom in your body get jiggled! And when you are feeling lighter and free-er, it automatically is shared with your baby. If I get tied up about anything, and start goofy growling to get the energy released, my lil man starts laughing! Then I laugh more! And IF I LET IT, we are just happy and laughing and in the present moment. Nothing else matters. Over time, we are both healthier, and overall the issues are less and the flow is more. So, get back to the basics: get out of our heads, get into our bodies, get into the heart and joy of life. The rest will be freed up to fall into place. The knowledge that you've gained and stored away in your brain can then come to you effortlessly, like a tool being handed to you out of your own toolbelt. It will just "plop" be right there in front of you. Follow it. Appreciate it. Repeat. Even if it's just a little here, a little there at first. Keep it up. The more this is practiced, the more layers can be released. It takes effort at first, but then it'll be easier to remember. And it's a thousand times more fun than the hours you've spent trying to figure it all out. I know!! I was, and can still be, just like you :-)  and believe me, this is the most powerful way through. Like, do you want to pick out every rock by hand, or just dump the sandbox sand through a sieve, jiggle it, and wha-la! Fresh fine sand! Perhaps this seems too simple, too good to be true. It's not. :-) Oh, and after a while of ignoring the books, I dive back in for more knowledge in a new subject as needed, add more tools to the toolbelt, but be sure to have fun throughout. Best to you all!

post #25 of 36

For the having the mattresses on the floor, I definitely cleared out the bedroom of dangers to the best of my ability.  Most of the time by the time I hear her and get to the door, she has crawled toward the door across our mattress, but at 11mo, she is savvy about the edge of the mattress and can crawl down no problem.  There have been a few times when I hear her roll off the edge of the mattress in the dark before I get there, but with strategically placed pillows, this isn't dangerous.  And it is really just an issue at around 11pm when her first wakeful period happens (her 'bedtime' is in the backpack or with DH around 8:30-9pm) and if I am not in bed yet by 11 (which is rare!).

 

I just got use a crib mattress that I will use later and put a few sturdy blankets underneath to prop it up to our mattress level, then connected the bedrail with the anchor underneath both of our mattresses.

 

I can't tell you how many times she has stirred and swung out a hand just to make sure I'm there, then settles back down. We did not have this arrangement with my older DD and I ended up sleeping on a futon mattress with her in another room for quite some time to get the same effect.  I do think my two needed room to squirm and roll around or else they wake from feeling 'confined' or by banging into something.

 

I just want to express my feeling of compassion for all the breastfeeding moms out there waking up every few hours at night and having to work or be 'functional' during the day, It ain't easy!  But rest assured, the alternative may be even harder!

post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by vacaisle View Post

You can also try having DH tire her out/burn up some of that physical energy with a brisk walk in a carrier or some light wrestling/tickling/chasing before bed. I recently read that an important part of juvenile mammalian rhythms is rough play at wake up and bedtime with a dominant but kindly caregiver (ie father, older sibling) and have always found that to be true in our home.


 

This is exactly along the same lines.... the vibration of walking and light wrestling/tickling... and that thing where you blow blubbery noises on their belly! It all helps disperse the excess energetic congestion. Raspberries? Zerbits? We call them Grrrrsss :-) and lil man will grrrrr at us when he wants them!

 

post #27 of 36

It sounds like you have been given some great advise.  My son (who is now 5) had trouble sleeping from day 1, but being my first child, I didn't realize his sleeping patterns weren't normal.  Last winter he had recurring strep throat, so we began seeing an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist.  We ended up needing to have his tonsils removed.  They didn't remove the tonsils only because of the strep throat, more so because the specialist asked how he slept and after I explained his sleeping habits, he did more testing to find he had sleep apnea due to extremely large tonsils.  Turns out he was choking on his tinsils in his sleep which caused him to wake randomly throughout the night since day 1.  I must say I REALLY lost faith in his pediatrician at that point for never putting two and two together, but since his tonsils were removed in March of this year, he no longer wakes in the middle of the night and for the first time in 5 years I too am sleeping through the night. 

 

There is obvisously a slim chance that your daughter is waking for the same reason my son was, but you can't rule it out.  I wouldn't hesitate to see a specialist to determine if she may be experiencing sleep apnea for some reason.  They will probably test her and worst case they will rule it out and you can keep trying other options.  I wish you the best of luck!!

post #28 of 36

Just wanted to say hang in there - I am having similar problems with my 8 month old DD and it's hard to keep it together with the no sleep. At 7 months when we were experimenting with Elimination Communication I tried doing it at night to see if that might help with the constant waking. I realized at night that her cloth diapers were dry through most of the night wakings for long periods of time. What I discovered was that she wanted to keep nursing because her bladder was full and the only way she could relax enough to release it was to keep nursing, but then she would fall asleep without releasing it, and wake up uncomfortable, and start all over with more nursing, which made her have to pee even more! Right now she does wake frequently, probably due to teething and development issues, every 2-3 hours and sometimes more, but when she was waking up 10 or 15 minutes after I had just put her down, it was generally because of a full bladder and so I'd do EC with her to relieve that. I am not sure if you mentioned this already so forgive me if I'm covering old ground. Just wanted to throw it out there. It hasn't solved all of our problems but I have a better idea now of when she's waking because of her bladder,

 

post #29 of 36


This is really interesting.  I have done EC with our 9-month old DD since she was just a few weeks old.  She too wakes up many times during the night.  I think you're right about needing to relax enough in order to release her bladder.  With our son and doing EC w/ him, I tried taking him to the potty at night when he was a baby, but he wasn't happy about it all.  However, his sister may be a different story.  I'll try EC w/ her one night on her first waking and see how it goes.

 

I consider it a good night if she has a stretch of 3+ hours.  She starts off in the crib, asleep btw 8-9pm after nursing - sometimes she falls asleep while nursing and if not, she falls asleep while I'm standing above her.  If my husband or I have the energy, we will pat her down when she wakes up the first time (~11:30pm).  I'll nurse her in our bed for the 2nd waking (~1-2am).  She nurses again btw 4-5am and she's up for the day around 6:30-7am.  If I have enough energy, I'll get up and put her back in the crib.  So a minimum of 3 times/night but sometimes it's more - up every 2 hours.  

 

You are not alone!  Hang in there.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabatty View Post

Just wanted to say hang in there - I am having similar problems with my 8 month old DD and it's hard to keep it together with the no sleep. At 7 months when we were experimenting with Elimination Communication I tried doing it at night to see if that might help with the constant waking. I realized at night that her cloth diapers were dry through most of the night wakings for long periods of time. What I discovered was that she wanted to keep nursing because her bladder was full and the only way she could relax enough to release it was to keep nursing, but then she would fall asleep without releasing it, and wake up uncomfortable, and start all over with more nursing, which made her have to pee even more! Right now she does wake frequently, probably due to teething and development issues, every 2-3 hours and sometimes more, but when she was waking up 10 or 15 minutes after I had just put her down, it was generally because of a full bladder and so I'd do EC with her to relieve that. I am not sure if you mentioned this already so forgive me if I'm covering old ground. Just wanted to throw it out there. It hasn't solved all of our problems but I have a better idea now of when she's waking because of her bladder,

 



 

post #30 of 36

I think you've gotten some excellent advice here, but I just want to say that with my son I found 7mo-11mo to be a very difficult, unpredictable period on top of his being a not-so-great sleeper from Day 1. I know a lot of parents find this time hard. There's so much going on: separation anxiety starts, solids are introduced (and may cause tummy problems), milestones like crawling and cruising, and just a huge amount of mental stuff going on (check out: The Wonder Weeks).

 

It wasn't entirely awful for 4 whole months -- there were nights when I swear he slept for 6 hours straight (or I just didn't remember nursing him back to sleep, which to me is just as good). But definitely, 7 months was really bad with separation anxiety and restlessness.

 

My son just turned 1, and I think I will start gentle nightweaning/breaking associations after he's 18mo. There's a sleep regression around 13 months and 15-16 months (Wonder Weeks related), so I just want to wait until he settles down a bit and until he can understand more of what we say to him.

 

I understand overanalyzing because I did it too -- until 7mo, that is, and then I just got so tired that I had to think more about myself and less about my baby. That meant throwing out the glow-in-the-dark alarm clock, going to bed earlier with a cup of dill tea and a relaxing massage from hubby, finding a comfortable way to fall back asleep with baby latched, and just going with the flow.

post #31 of 36

I did EC with my kids, and DD (my terrible sleeper) was a huge EC success story.  She started sleeping diaperless at night around 7 months (with pretty much no accidents ever.)  She usually didn't need to pee at night (despite all the night nursing she was doing), and when she did need to pee I could tell, because she wouldn't nurse right back to sleep but would be more restless.  I would take her the bathroom then.  So needing to pee would occasionally disturb her sleep, but in general I knew I was taking care of that need - and she was still a terrible sleeper.  I think that's just the way she is.  She still (at 8) regularly has a hard time falling asleep and is more likely to wake up at night than her little brother.  Her dad has always had trouble sleeping; maybe she inherited it from him.

post #32 of 36

Surprised to see all the comments about EC babes needing to pee at night.  DD (7.5 months)  is dry through the night so I just assumed that means she doesn't need to pee. But perhaps that's part of what all of her fuss is about with her half-wakings, half-nursings......... yes, think I will take her potty when she wakes tonight.

post #33 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone again for your replies!  I wish I had time to reply more individually, but things are a bit hectic here and I didn't want to delay updating further.  binga, thanks for the tips on sleeping with a mattress on the floor (and for the night waking sympathy!).  LansingMom, thanks for sharing your experience - I'm really sorry that you had to go through that.  I do believe that most doctors are actually well-intentioned, but they really can brush us off and miss important stuff because they don't listen, which is such a big problem!  I'm so sorry you didn't sleep for so long (!), but I'm glad to hear that you are finally sleeping now!  mamabatty and LeslieintheKeys, I'm sorry to hear that you've being going through rough nightwaking also - I hope things get better for your soon.  Thanks for taking the time to lend me some moral support!  I found everyone's comments about EC interesting, too - I had been interesting in doing this, but just haven't had the time to learn how.  I don't think our LO has issues with this in the night, but it's interesting to see that that seems to be a factor for others. 

 

Here's my update:  The good news is that her sleep has remained somewhat improved over the last week or so - she seems to have settled more into a waking every three hours type of routine (sometimes more often, especially near morning), which is manageable.  I'm beginning to wonder if teaching her to fall asleep on her own did actually help with the night waking but that maybe it just took a month after she learned to do it to really help with the middle of the night?  Or maybe she just finally grew out of it.  (Or maybe this is just a short respite and she'll return to the repeated waking soon - I hope not!)

 

She has had a bad cold for about 5 days, which didn't help, but miraculously that resulted only about 1.5 really sleepless nights (waking every 5 minutes, fussing and then sleeping again on her own, poor thing), and even though she is clearly still stuffy and coughing, etc, she is sleeping ok.  Her first tooth has also been visible just under the gum for several days now, and no disrupted sleep with that so far as I can tell. 

 

I still think she is not always getting enough sleep at night - sometimes she sleeps 10h, but often it is more like 7-9h, which if I understand correctly is not really enough at her age, so I'm going to try to work on adjusting naptimes to see if that helps (I haven't wanted to mess with her while she is getting over the cold and teething, but once that passes, I'm hoping I can gently try to get her into a little more regular of a schedule to see if that helps?). 

 

For other people looking for solutions, I think teaching her to put herself to sleep on her own did help her sleep some, whether it's the primary reason for our improvement of late or not.  I didn't let her CIO, but I did use techniques from a ton of different books.  I worked to replace the pacifier and nursing to sleep with other soothing techniques like rocking and walking around etc.  I did let her fuss on her own some, since sometimes she would do it anyway no matter what we did to soothe her: I wasn't ok with her crying, but she does seem to often make fussy noises as she is going to sleep, which don't exactly sound happy, but which aren't quite totally unhappy either - it's like she's on the border between crying and deciding to be happy and can't make up her mind, so the sounds can quickly devolve into either happy noises or crying.  I try to wait this out, and only interfere if she starts crying.  I think in retrospect that eliminating the pacifier did actually help, but it took weeks for us to gradually start to see any effects (I think it gradually made it more possible to go from nursing to sleep to nursing, then taking her off and letting her go to sleep on her own - before we took away the pacifier, this seemed to be impossible).  We also did things like walking her in the carriage until she was falling asleep and then gently stopping the movement until she was totally asleep (although this does not always work - if she starts to wake up or get agitated, we have to abort this attempt and just keep walking the carriage).  I think getting rid of the suck to sleep association and letting lots of people (grandma, me and DH) put her to sleep in lots of different ways and in a lot of different places probably all contributed to our current improvement.  Clearly for some of this to work the LO just needs to be ready for it, but I think some of the steps we took did in fact help, for what it's worth.  For anyone else suffering with extreme night wakings (or even just run of the mill ones!), I really hope you can get some improvement soon. 

 

Thanks again to everyone for their recommendations - I really appreciate it.  I hope we don't need to come back to the suggestions in this thread again, but if we do, I'll be really glad that they are here - and I hope that they help other people with similar issues!

post #34 of 36

Us too...our baby only wakes at night because he needs to pee! :o) We've done EC from birth.

 

Oh, and sometimes we give teething meds in the middle of the night if it's not hunger or pee-needs.

 

Glad to hear sleep is going better for you, cww!! :)

post #35 of 36

I'm really new here and probably know absolutely nothing, but here's my experience - kind of related to yours.

 

Our little one came to us a month ago, he was 6 months old.  Since we only had him 4 days a week until recently, we tried to keep everything as similar as we could.  Grandma kept him in her room, because he woke so much during the night, she figured it would be more convenient to have him right there. 

 

He was waking on average 4-5 times a night, often only going back to sleep with a bottle.

 

She frequently mentioned that he doesn't want to miss anything, which I noticed to be true.  If there was so much as a light in the room to look at, or warm arms to hold him, he was NOT happy about sleeping.  There is just so much to experience, after all!

 

Last week we got him full time and we'd set up a room for him to test a theory - that was that if I, or my husband, were in sight and he did one of his restless wake ups like you mentioned, he would realize that we were there and could hold/feed/comfort him and he would start to cry.  Of course, we did all those things, depending on how awake he was.  Sometimes he'd fuss and go back to sleep if he was very tired. 

 

We are now on night 3, and each night he has slept a solid 10 hours.  He wakes hungry, and then sleeps for another 2 hours, totaling 12 hours a night.  Naps went from 45 minutes (with us in the room) to 1.5 to 2 hours! 

 

My husband purchased me a baby monitor to help ME sleep through the first night, and I heard him be restless and roll around a bit, but only once did he cry in the 3 nights, and that was his pain cry (teething).

 

 

post #36 of 36
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

It's been a few months, and I wanted to come back to update, in case it helps anyone else.  When DD was pretty much exactly 9m old (about 1.5m ago), we gave up finally on bed sharing (sadly) and had her first sleep at night in her car seat (which she was used to from many nap times) and then after about a week and half we transitioned her to a peapod baby sleeping tent.  Our bedroom is separated into two mini-rooms by a set of glass doors, and we put her behind those - we could still see her, and hear her if she made any real noise, but it meant that she couldn't smell us, and she couldn't hear every time we rolled over in bed, and we couldn't hear her every peep, but that we would wake up if she actually fussed at all.  After about a week of this, we even switched to my husband sleeping in the master BR with her behind the glass doors, and me sleeping in the baby room, since he is woken less by her non-crying noises, and he is not so stressed out by having to get her up when she is crying to soothe her. 

 

We agreed that with this arrangement, we would not get her out of bed unless she actually started crying and getting agitated - if she just fussed a bit, or made noise, we'd give her the chance to try to go back to sleep on her own.  Once we started this, she still woke up several times per night, but the frequency went down almost immediately from 8-10 times per night to 4ish times, and only one of those times did she actually need to BF.  For about a week she continued to want to eat once in the middle of the night - then we started picking her up to feed her before we went to bed around 10pm-ish, and we worked on just rocking her back to sleep instead of BFing in the middle of the night when she got agitated, and this seemed to work after several days to a week - for about 3 weeks she woke pretty regularly twice per night but was able to put herself back to sleep within 20m each time and didn't need to BF between about 10pm-7am.  Occasionally she went through that time without waking at all.  The last two weeks she has gone back to wanting to BF once in the middle of the night, so my husband just brings her to me and we all pile into the bed in the BR while she eats and then she goes back to her tent in the master BR.  Occasionally she has wanted to eat twice per night, but not very often.  We've been thinking about trying to test whether she needs the middle of the night feeding by working on rocking her without BFing again to see if that can work, but I wasn't sure if she needed to eat more because of a growth spurt, so I haven't been in a rush to try this just yet - maybe in another week or so if she is still waking for night feedings then. 

 

We never did try any CIO techniques.  But we did discover that our DD really does make lots of fussy noises that aren't really crying (but can sometimes progress to crying, which is part of what makes it tricky), and that she often does this as she is falling asleep.  So we try not to disturb her just because she is making noise.  (I've definitely spent some time at the bedroom door with a book, listening to see if she is starting to shade into crying or if she is just gurgling, squawking, or whatever.).  We found that if she started to get agitated, the best thing to do was to try to get her calm using a variety of methods (rocking, jiggling, BFing, back rubbing, singing, sliding the tent back and forth, etc) as quickly and calmly as possible, but that once or if she was making non-agitated noises, it was better to let her be.  (But sometimes it is hard to tell which type of noise she is making, and then we sometimes guess wrong.  More than once I thought she was just gurgling herself to sleep only to have her grow more agitated and start crying in earnest, and I felt horrible for not going in as soon as she made any noise; at the other end of the spectrum, yesterday after hearing several minutes of fussy noises during a nap and thinking that she was crying, I walked right into her bedroom, opening the door with a bang and talking in a loud cheerful voice, just to realize that she was actually asleep! - Luckily my noise didn't wake her...)

 

She never uses a pacifier anymore (we weaned her back around 6.5m), she is not swaddled, and as long as we time putting her to sleep well, we can usually get her down by BFing (although this can be skipped if we add in extra rocking/jiggling time), then doing some jiggling/rocking in arms for a few minutes, then putting her in the tent, maybe rubbing her back for a few minutes, and then zipping up the tent and closing the doors.  Sometimes she does squawk for a few minutes, but we've found that sometimes she just wants to make noise as she settles and that there is a difference between her settling-down noises and her agitates noises that was very hard to decipher at first without waiting 10 minutes to see if she calmed down or not.  Now we can usually tell the difference pretty easily, although sometimes we misjudge and go into her when she is actually asleep or wait out the squawking for 10 minutes only to realize that she is getting more upset and that we need to go in to sooth her.  It is still tricky because sometimes we accidentally wait to long to put her to bed, or we try to put her into the tent too early in the routine, and then she needs a lot of soothing.  But usually when we time things correctly (which we do maybe 70-95% of the time?), she can be fed and put down in a matter of minutes after she's done eating. 

 

I'm sad that we are not bed sharing anymore - I had wanted to keep doing that for at least a few years (especially since she's been too active for cuddling since she was about 5-6m old and that was our only cuddle time!), but we just weren't getting any sleep that way, and for us, our current arrangement leaves all of us much happier and more well-rested.  We really tried everything, trying to get her to sleep for longer stretches in the bed with us, but either she is super-sensitive, or I am, or both, and we were just waking each other up 8-10 times per night a lot of the time.  I still think bedsharing was the best situation for us when she needed to eat all the time as a newborn, but sometime between about 4-8m, it became a problem more than a solution.  I suppose we should have tried the baby tent several months earlier, but even if it could have gotten us better sleep earlier in her life, I really didn't want to resort to that until we had given everything else a trial opportunity so that we could know for certain that if bedsharing didn't work it wasn't because we didn't try. 

 

I am hoping that we could all be back in the same room again sometime soon, but since my husband has been willing to be the one to cope with her wakings and to just bring her to me when she needs to eat, I've been unwilling to give up my new experience of sleeping decently again!  (I don't know if I'm super sensitive or just a normal mom, but I really can't sleep if I hear any noise coming from her in the night, even when I know she doesn't need me just then!)  I keep hoping that she'll get to a point where she basically does just sleep from 10pm to 7am or thereabouts, without making waking noises in between (and then we could all sleep in the same BR without having to sacrifice sleep!). 

 

What I do like about our situation is that she does seem to be flexible at sleeping in different places - we have traveled with her and she can sleep with us, or in her tent, or in her carseat in a plane or a car, in the same room with us and in a room next door where she can't necessarily see us, and as long as we time naps and bedtimes well, she seems to sleep well in all of these different situations.  I'm really pleased that we've finally found a way for all of us to get enough sleep (most nights, anyway) - it makes our time together in the daytime so much more enjoyable.  So for anyone else dealing with repeated night wakings - I just wanted to give some hope!  We did find solutions, it did take some time (months and months!) and we did have to give up bedsharing, which I didn't really want to do, but we also didn't have to use any CIO techniques, which I really would not have been comfortable doing.  Our solutions may be totally different from whatever you may find works for your family, but hopefully we all find something that works!

 

Good luck to the rest of you, and thanks again to everyone who posted here!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Co-sleeping and the Family Bed
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Co-sleeping and the Family Bed › help us problem solve repeated night waking?