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Zombie mamas---sleep deprivation commiseration thread

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hi fellow sleepy mamas!

I've been browsing this forum quite a bit, looking for advice and commiseration from other moms with not-so-stellar sleepers. My son (17 months old) still wakes to nurse just about every hour at night and I'm beginning to feel like a sleep deprived zombie! I have less energy and patience than before and often feel like I'm sleep walking through my days.


I know I'm not alone in this, and thought it would be nice if we could support one another through our sleep struggles. Sometimes it's just so relieving to know that other moms are in the same boat and to be able to share our "battle stories" with someone who will understand. 


So, if you're struggling with sleep in your family, please share your story! And if you're one of those lucky mamas who has managed to improve your little one's sleep, please share any suggestions or advice you may have. 


Zombie mamas unite! :)

post #2 of 30

Well, I can definitely relate this morning.... my 15 month old daughter decided 4 a.m. was wake-up time.  >__<


I was able to nurse her back down at around 5:30 and went back to sleep, but my poor husband has been up since then!  He had to get up and get out like usual!



post #3 of 30

We're right there with you regarding the waking every hour to nurse.  Our dude is 18 months and his sleep has actually gotten worse (in regards to night waking) as he has aged.  Fortunately, he usually goes back to sleep pretty soon with nursing, but I don't always have such an easy time.


I have come to believe that his repeated night waking is attributed to our nursing and co-sleeping.  While I am definitely a proponent of both, we had a situation this morning that kind of proved that his night waking is mommy-focused.  I had gotten up to take my older son to school, and the baby woke while I was gone.  If I had been here, I would have nursed him back to sleep.  Since he turned over in the bed and only found dad, he fell asleep on his own (this NEVER happens, that I know of, when I am in the bed).


It was really discouraging since I believe so strongly in extended nursing (when possible) and co-sleeping (ditto).  I have long suspected that our LO was waking for me, and I think I am right.  I am not going to change our practices in regards to these two things, but it just kind of sucks.


I think if he took a pacifier (which he never has, though we've tried) or sucked his thumb, he would maybe sleep better, but who knows.  My older son didn't extended breastfeed or co-sleep, he did use a pacifier, and his sleep was still awful for years.


Zombie mamas, unite!

post #4 of 30

Hi fellow moms,


I'm up late instead of catching up on sleep. :)

DS is now 8 months old. We wanted to co-sleep for the first 3-4 months and transition to his crib. It worked well for a while but eventually he ended up making his way for parts of the night into our bed. Sometimes everyone seems to sleep better with him in his crib and sometimes we sleep better together. It's so inconsistent. I was trying for a while to get him to go back to sleep without nursing, by rocking or giving him a pacifer. But after several failed attempts to limit his night waking, I have started to just give in and feed him. Truth be told, in my sleep deprivation, I'm not always sure what I'm doing in the night; I'm on automatic pilot. DH said the other day that to actually remember what happened in the night, we'd have to hire someone to sit in our room and take notes! ;) Most of the advice from my social circle is of the CIO kind and I'm still not comfortable with that. I agree with caedenmama that DS wakes more because I'm often in such close proximity of him and he's gotten accustomed to nursing frequently at night. I'd say DS wakes on average every + or - 3 hours.

My real question to all you sleep-deprived moms is:

I'm all for attachment parenting and giving my son the very best, but at what point do you know that's its enough and sleep habits need to change for the benefit of the whole family? I read a forum about night weaning and I think it said not before 18 months. Well some women may be lucky enough to be SAHMs, but what about the rest of us who work, go to school. How do you function if you have to work and you can't catch up on lost sleep during the day? I'm in Canada so still on mat leave but that will end in less than 2 months. I'm also in school and have the occasional contract so have had a somewhat flexible schedule up until now but that will soon end.

post #5 of 30

I am not always a Z.M. (zombie mama) these days, but man, I sure am today.  DS (15 months) was up every 2 hours and then up for good at 4:30.  (he is not co-sleeping anymore, but still in our room.)  I feel a real pain when I think that after I took a weekend trip when he was 11 months (which he instantly copped onto--Mama's not here, no need to wake up) he was sleeping 9 hours straight a night.  I could actually stay up and watch a movie with DH sometimes, instead of going to bed at the same time as the baby!  Ever since then the wake ups have been steadily increasing, til we are now back where we were before the trip.  I guess I need to go away again!  The worst part is that being tired makes me depressed, and brings back the PTSD I had after the little guy's birth.  This is no fun for anyone.

post #6 of 30

Totally feeling like a zombie mama!


My two are usually a lot of work, but the last few weeks have been awful- one waking up crying/screaming and taking a long time to go back to sleep, and the other waking up ALL the time after midnight, and taking ages to go back to sleep.


argh, someone just woke up!

post #7 of 30

I'm in the same vote as you Mamas.  My sweet girl is 14.5 months and has lately started the wonderful trend of attempting to give up her naps AND trying to stay up until midnight or later.  Seriously, right around 11 or 12 at night she gets all excited and super sweet, wanting to run around and play.  DH and I are usually ready for bed by then and want nothing more than to sleep.  It's really hard to be mad and annoyed at her because she's so darn cute, but it sure is a pain that she's getting herself all worked up.  Usually she doesn't go down until between 3am to 5am.  Not good when both Mom and Dad have work in the morning.


She has also started hourly wake ups as well.  Since we co-sleep with her I'm usually able to nurse her back down but I'm getting really tired of just as I'm about to fall asleep having to wake back up for the nursing.

post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 

It's so good to hear that we're not alone over here! We had a pretty rough weekend of nighttime sleep, but luckily I was able to catch a quick nap on Sunday--that almost never happens! I'm feeling slightly less zombie-ish as we start our Monday...hopefully we can get through the week without feeling too fried.


@caedenmomma-my little guy is the same way. When he takes naps with his dad, he'll fall right back asleep if he wakes up and doesn't see me there. With me in the bed, however, he needs to be nursed back to sleep or is up for good. Maybe I should just let the two of them co-sleep and I'll get a big bed of my own :)


@remymom- I have many of the same questions! My son has been grumpy and irritable lately, and while I know a lot of his behavior comes with this age, I wonder if he would be more cheerful if he was getting more sleep. I know I certainly would! I wish it were easier to transition to a different sleep situation--our attempts at night weaning and putting him in his own bed have been pretty horrendous. I remember when my son was 9 months old and started waking up a lot at night, I thought, "there's no way I'm going to put up with this for another few months--something has to change!" But here we are, almost 9 months later and still in the same position. Grrrr... Most days, I feel like I can function ok, but I definitely feel more irritable and emotional than I would if I was getting solid sleep. 


@aithnea-3am bedtime! oh mama--you're brave! 


I hope all my fellow zombie mamas get some rest and relaxation (if not solid sleep) this week!


post #9 of 30

Sleep deprived Mamas...I hear you all loud and clear.


Our little guy is 10.5 months, and up until a month ago woke up every 1-2 hours.  In the last month he has gotten a little better, doing a stretch each night of 3, 4 or 5 hours.  But still wakes a total of about 5 times a night.


And for every nap and every bedtime he needs to be rocked in our arms until he is sound asleep before being placed in the crib/on our bed.  If he is not totally asleep he immediately wakes and starts screaming.  He is getting quite heavy and my arms are on the point of collapsing.


My bugbear is hearing moms in my mom's group complain that they've had a rough night when their baby wakes a couple of times a night (when they usually pretty much sleep through the night)....grrrrrr,,,,,,,


I feel your pain and I agree that being able to to express one's feelings on this message board is a life saver - I've posted a few times when I've hit rock bottom and it does help me manage the feelings that come with having a baby who is a frequent waker (albeit a gorgeous and adorable little guy).

post #10 of 30

I'm pretty consistently sleep deprived. Both mine still wake up at night. It can be anywhere from 3 - 7 times a night then they wake up for the day anywhere from 5.30am onwards. I am so tired that I don't think I even register being tired anymore, if that makes sense! I'm a single Mama too, so unfortunately I don't have anyone to give me a break sometimes.


I feel your pain Mama's. I live in hope that one day I will sleep through the night again!

post #11 of 30

Sooo..does it ever end?? My 14.5 month old has been nursing constantly lately. If i try to roll over at all he wakes up instantly and bats me to nurse. nights like this make me want to night wean right away, but I need help from my husband, and he isn't willing to be up all night right now- just started new job and school. I know he is teething and has separation anxiety but it's getting a little ridiculous.

post #12 of 30
Originally Posted by sarahusesthis View Post

Sooo..does it ever end?? My 14.5 month old has been nursing constantly lately. If i try to roll over at all he wakes up instantly and bats me to nurse. nights like this make me want to night wean right away, but I need help from my husband, and he isn't willing to be up all night right now- just started new job and school. I know he is teething and has separation anxiety but it's getting a little ridiculous.

Well mine are 6yo and 3yo but it has to end one day! LOL


post #13 of 30

I am totally in your boat. 


Our son is 15 months old, we also co-sleep and nurse. He's been a very frequent night waker and nurser, sometimes every 45 minutes. He's slept 5 hours on one occasion. I finally HAD IT last week. My lack of sleep was starting to affect my ability to parent and I was becoming short-tempered. My sister has five kids and whenever one was little and causing similar disruptions, her husband would take the baby downstairs and sleep with them. It made a big difference. I've asked my husband to help with night parenting in the past and the look of shock on his face was priceless. He was not a fan. Last week I decided I didn't care if he wasn't a fan, being a parent doesn't mean taking a vacation at nighttime. So, I told him I was sleeping the guest bedroom. I did this for two nights. Mikey screamed the first night and my husband comforted him. The second night he screamed less. Since then, our night times have been much better. He still nurses, but I've been able to sleep 3-4 hours at a time and my husband enjoys the special night time bond he has with his son. Win. Win. It just took me standing my ground and realizing I deserve a little help in the evening. 

post #14 of 30

So DS is our first and he is 11 months now and wakes about 1-2 hours or about 5-6 times a night.


A few of the moms in my mom's group say they are ready to try for another baby.  The thought of having another baby right now makes me feel physically ill.  I can't imagine ever wanting another baby and the thought of going through this sleep deprivation with another baby, and with a toddler on the scene really scares me.


How do other zombie mommas feel about this?

post #15 of 30

I'm just chiming in...mine is almost one, and I feel great on the occasions he wakes up every two hours! He has a sensitive GI tract and will wake up every 30 to 90 minutes many nights.  Ugh! I know he is *capable* of sleeping longer stretches because he will throw in a couple of good nights in there - one time I got three nights in a row of a 5 hour stretch! And then just when I was getting comfortable enough to not wake up from habit, the frequent wake ups returned.  It's so hard! My cousin has twin boys who are 10 days younger than my DS.  They have been sleeping through since 6 weeks old.  Seriously!? I remember her complaining when the went through a sleep phase where they woke up once or twice, and she was exhausted.  Oddly enough I am am starting to have pangs of desiring another baby - DS is just so much fun during the day....I think I am crazy! Luckily no AF yet, from all of the frequent nursing, so I can't get into something I can't handle.....

post #16 of 30
Zombie mama of a 16-mo-old here!

We moved DD into her own room a few months ago because she kept kicking and punching us in her sleep and was nursing every 30 minutes sometimes. For a while it seemed like a huge improvement and for a few weeks she even slept through the night... I'd nurse her to sleep for an hour and put her in the crib, then go nurse her in the morning before work. I started feeling so alert and human again and even got to watch movies in the evening w/ DH.

And then she started getting her canines... I'd wake at 1 am to hear her screaming "mommy! Mommy! Nurse! nurse!" on the baby monitor, run to her room... And spend the rest of the morning nursing her every 30 to 40 minutes lying on a bed in her room. No matter how sound asleep she is she screams and wakes up if I try putting her back in the crib.

The canines are in but this hasn't improved. I am such a zombie at work. And I miss my husband! He doesn't want to cosleep any more because she's still a serious kicker / puncher... But I can't let my daughter cry in some other room by herself!
post #17 of 30

Oh I am so there with you ladies!  I swore after my first DD, who was a horrible sleeper, that I would do whatever necessary  to not have another bad sleeper.  Well, guess what....YDD is also a terrible sleeper and I have no idea what to do!  YDD sleep issues are different than ODD's were, but equally exhausting.


I just posted in the breastfeeding forum, but DD is 10 months and is on the nurse every hour thing.  She does sometimes take a pacifier, but will seriously get pissed in the middle of the night if you give it to her and she wants the boob (after she has had the breast, for a bit I can usually slip in the pacifier if needed).


I am a complete zombie and not dealing well with it.  At around 4 months, DD would give me a 5 hour stretch, which I now look back on fondly.  We took a visit overseas and everything has gone downhill since.  I keep saying to myself that it can't get any worse, and then it does :-(  I seriously wouldn't give a second thought to attempting night-weaning if I thought I could do it, but I can't even begin to fathom how it would work (I envision one entire night long tantrum, which I can't do).  I feel bad complaining b/c I feel quite fortunate that I am around to see my children grow up, but man, I am tired!


Anyway.....maybe someone reading will have the magic secret to share with all of us!



post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 

Do good to hear from other mamas in the same situation (although I feel for each and every one of you--it's no fun being so exhausted!)


Redmom-I can definitely relate. I always thought I wanted lots of kids (like 4 or 5) but now the thought of having another one just sounds so tiring, I can't even imagine it! Plus, I think my body is too depleted and worn out right now to even make pregnancy a possibility. Ugh


We caught a cold from a friend's baby, so now my stuffy-nosed little guy is waking up every 30 min or so, totally miserable and unable to nurse well. I'll be glad to get back to those 1-2 hour stretches of sleep when we're healthy again :) 

post #19 of 30

I'll join the fray on this one.  We're at 19 months now, and I really thought things would be better than this with the night-wakings, but...they're not.  She's bottle-fed, and we still do 1 or 2 bottles at night, but there are many times that she wakes up even though she doesn't want a bottle.  She's often very upset when she wakes up and lately she's gotten very clingy at night, too.  I think the most frustrating thing is just not knowing why she's waking up.  I'm very verbal, and not particularly relaxed.  I want to know what's wrong, then figure out what to do to solve it.  And I don't want to have to INTUIT the whole darned thing.  I want her to just TELL me.  It makes me feel so helpless to not know what's going on or how to fix it.  Now we're in the throes of toddlerhood, so our days are very emotionally demanding.  When we have bad nights, too, it just feels like there's no end to it.  She's lucky that she's adorable, or I'd never be able to cope :)

post #20 of 30

I don't know that I've ever been so down and depressed, or as lost and clueless, about anything as I do about my 8-month old DS's sleeping (or lack thereof). And I have never been more disheartened than by reading this commiseration thread (which I'm sure was not its intended purpose!!).


If this waking 6-8+ times a night continues until he's 12 months, 18 months or 4 years ... I don't know what I'll do. I honestly can't imagine life like this for another two months, much less YEARS. We partially co-sleep, but are trying to inch away from that as neither of us (nor my DH) are doing well in a family bed type situation - none of us are getting much sleep. I'm still adamantly against any CIO method, as my son gets quite hysterical quite quickly when crying. I don't think he's ever cried for more than 10-15 minutes at a go, because someone is always there to see to his needs, whether for something tangible or just company, comfort and a song.


That said, almost all of my mommy group members who have tried some sort of CIO or CIO-related method report almost instant (< 1 week) success, and their LOs are happier and better rested, and their daytime life and relationship with their DP is smoother without everyone's nerves completely shot from lack of sleep. I'm so jealous, but I just know there is absolutely no way I could do that to my DS. :( The low-cry solutions, like Baby Whisperer, No-Cry Sleep Solution, and Sleep Lady Shuffle -- I firmly believe NONE of these methods are truly "no-cry" -- are on my agenda to give a shot, but I'm so exhausted, and nothing seems to work, and I'm just so completely down about the entire situation. I'm at the point of "what's the point of trying, it's just going to fail."



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