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Envious of parents of "good" sleepers

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Lately I've been soooooooooooooo envious of parents of "good" sleepers.  A mom in my moms' group said her 10 month old sleeps through the night most nights, and has 2 x 1.5 hour naps each day. She says she does not need to rock him to sleep but rather places him in his crib and he falls asleep on his own.

 

We have an 11 month old who woke every 1-2 hours until he was about 9 months, now does the same but with a 3,4 or 5 hour stretch thrown in there.  We need to rock or nurse hiim back down to sleep every time he wakes.  For naps, I rock him to sleep every time and he will only nap 30-45 mins.

 

I know it's futile to compare, but I can't help but think of how much easier the parenting experience is for "good" sleepers.  They don't have to go through what I'm going through, and don't know the nightly ritual of having to wake several times and parent a baby back to sleep even though we are utterly exhausted.

 

I think of how exhausted I feel every day just from the usual baby care tasks, then throw sleep deprivation into it. Parents of "good" sleepers have so much more energy during the day to be more peppy as parents.

 

I'm just envious, because we didn't choose our baby's sleep temperament, it's just the way he is.  And of course the double whammy is that as a parent of a "poor" sleeper we work twice as hard to try different things to improve his sleep.  Parents of "good" sleepers usually have not done anything to make it that way, it's just how their baby sleeps.

 

I know there is always someone worse off than me, but I just needed to have my vent. :)

post #2 of 19

I totally get it.  My first was the worst sleep ever.  I look back at some of his old sleep logs and some nights he was waking up every fifteen minutes!  Add to that traumatic childbirth, my loooong recovery and my having no help at all, and I was soooo exhausted.  I never really enjoyed his first few years because all I could think about was sleep.  My best friend's baby slept throught the night at TEN WEEKS!!!  She had sooo much energy and had so much fun with her son.  Other people would tell me it was my fault that DS didn't sleep well, but I came to realize that it was just his genetic makeup.  He was a very energetic child(even in the womb) whereas my friend's son was very placid and easy going and his sleep reflected that.

post #3 of 19

Oh man - I always said that if I had "good" sleepers I would have had like 5 kids.

 

It is totally temperment - my friend is EBF and 2 1/2 month old baby sleeps in the co-sleepr in the room - and just slept like a 6 hour stretch the other night. My co-sleeping BF 16 mo old still won't do that.

 

It is so hard not to be envious. I mean, I can't imagine how much easier it would be to be a mother if I had good sleepers, how much easier it would be on my relationship with DH. 

 

My only reward is the fact that my kids don't NEED sleep like some kids - like if they have a late night, or a short nap they can party on and not lose their *&%$% and fall apart.

 

So, yes, it sucks rocks. orngtongue.gif

post #4 of 19

It is as if you are living my life. My 11-month-old still wakes every 1-2 hours to nurse. It's absolutely exhausting, maddening, frustrating, and depressing. It's like I have two different boys: the one who wakes and cries through the night, and the one who is incredibly happy, precocious and secure during the daylight hours. We've just started to try and extend the periods between nighttime feedings, but it is insanely difficult. I'm a dedicated, co-sleeping, babywearing, cloth-diapering mama who refuses to let her son CIO and I totally empathize. Add to that my DH who is on the road 18 days a month, and I'm one tired gal. We have no family here, either.

 

I've read nearly everything I can find about infant sleep and nothing seems to work for DS. If you try anything that works, please post again, and I will do the same for you.

post #5 of 19

I'm glad to read this because, though I know in my heart that my DS is wakeful by nature and that he needs me to be responsive at night, I'm getting so much outside input blaming by night time parenting style.  My DH, based on bs he has heard from his coworkers, has actually been telling me that he thinks I may have established a pattern of waking for my DS that is detrimental to his sleep, that I'm making things worse and possibly affecting his health.  It's hard to have to explain why I won't let my baby cry it out when I'm exhausted and it seems to be coming from everywhere.  He's my first, so I don't have the perspective of having parented a kid to sleeping through.  The only thing I really have to hold on to is that he is doing so well developmentally.  What I'm doing must be supporting that, right?!

 

AmericanVenus: I've described night time DS as Baby Hyde because he is so frantically needy at night and yet is a straight up delight all day long.  He's going through a phase right now where it doesn't matter how long I let him nurse to sleep.  As soon as I put him down he is screaming.

 

DS's cousin was born 3 weeks after DS.  She slept through the night at 12 weeks.  When my SIL told me that I almost cried right in her face, I was so jealous.    

post #6 of 19

My DS was the colicky baby with acid reflux, until about 8 or 10 weeks, when he was put of Prevacid and began sleeping longer stretches. Within a short time, he was sleeping through the night (in his crib!!!)  Like 8-10 hours at a time. It was amazing. And wonderful.  Shortly after he turned 4 months, it abruptly STOPPED. Like in 1 night he started waking every 1 - 2 hours. I didn't know what was wrong with him all of a sudden.  I took him to the doctor.  They said he was fine, although possibly teething was starting.  I tried the crib side car, I tried every way of getting him to sleep (nursing wouldn't always work) and then gingerly placing him on his bed. Would wake up within half an hour. It was so frustrating. The only way I could get any sleep was to bring him into bed with me.  He is 16 months now and he has been there ever since (still wakes up 2 to 4 times per night, nurses and then goes right back to sleep, unless he's teething and does the inconsolable crying thing or is having a particularly bad night when he wakes up roughly 200 times).  

 

Once I got used to sleeping with him (I had to get used to sleeping in different positions, being able to doze back off while he nurses) I got some of the best zzzz's I've ever had with my little guy right next to me. I find I have a hard time falling asleep if he is not next to me. However, my friend has a baby his age that they put in her crib in a separate room, awake, and she goes to sleep on her own and sleeps all night. I don't know how they accomplished that, but I admit, as much as I love my little snuggle bug and enjoy sleeping with him (most of the time) sometimes I am jealous! 

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlehoneybee View Post

 Other people would tell me it was my fault that DS didn't sleep well, but I came to realize that it was just his genetic makeup. 


That is so sad that other people said it was your fault - I totally agree with you that genetic makeup has a HUGE bearing on the way they sleep and even though we do our best as Mommas (even more than the average parent), their temperament overides this.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whozeyermamma View Post

My only reward is the fact that my kids don't NEED sleep like some kids - like if they have a late night, or a short nap they can party on and not lose their *&%$% and fall apart.

 

 

 

Yes our little guy is that same - he really does not seem to have those melt downs from being tired, he always the energizer bunny.  And I'm just curious to how may kids you have?  This is our first and I can't imagine being ready and willing to have another baby.  The moms in my mom's group are allready talking about trying again.  The thought of having to go through this sleep deprivation with a baby AND a toddler repulses me.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmericanVenus View Post

It's like I have two different boys: the one who wakes and cries through the night, and the one who is incredibly happy, precocious and secure during the daylight hours.

 

I've read nearly everything I can find about infant sleep and nothing seems to work for DS. If you try anything that works, please post again, and I will do the same for you.

 

Funny our little guy is the same - totally confident during the day, but all his fears come out at night.  I like to think that because we are responding to his night time needs so well, his day time demeanour reflects that.
 

Aw I feel your pain, and it must be soooooooooo tough for you to have DH away for long periods as well as no family.  You are really doing an awesome job to be there for your little guy.  We don't have family nearby, though I am blessed to have a DH who is very supportive and does his share of the nighttime parenting.

 

I will definitely share anything that has helped us.  When he entered his 10th month, the little guy started sleeping a 3, 4, or 5 hour stretch each night - but honestly it was not due to anything we did, I think it was just him getting over the sleep regressions.  But I have to say, I felt like a million bucks to get a longer stretch than 2 hours.

 

Lately, we have been able to place him on our bed when he is semi sleepy and place our hands on him and "shush" him and sometimes he will fall asleep.  He will not do this in the crib.

 

I have read and tried ideas from "No Cry Sleep Solution" but really they did not work for us.


 

 

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tekcez View Post

I'm glad to read this because, though I know in my heart that my DS is wakeful by nature and that he needs me to be responsive at night, I'm getting so much outside input blaming by night time parenting style. 

 

 The only thing I really have to hold on to is that he is doing so well developmentally.  What I'm doing must be supporting that, right?!

 


I am so sorry to hear that people are essentially blaming you for DS sleep patterns.  It is honestly NOT your fault.  Our DS is our first so we have no basis for comparison either.   What helps was hearing from my brother describe 2 out of 3 of his kids were the same way.  Plus a few other friends had "poor" sleepers.

 

That is fantastic that DS is doing well developmentally.

 

I have come to believe that sleep is like any other milesone - like walking or talking - and there is huge variation in when they are ready and able to sleep longer stretches.  Also I've read that there is lots of blood flow to the brain and brain development during REM sleep, which is the very light phase of sleep.....so our kids will end up being geniuses!

 

You are doing a great job Momma and your baby is so lucky to have you as such a devoted and responsie Mom.

 

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by infojunkie View Post

Shortly after he turned 4 months, it abruptly STOPPED. Like in 1 night he started waking every 1 - 2 hours. I didn't know what was wrong with him all of a sudden.

 

However, my friend has a baby his age that they put in her crib in a separate room, awake, and she goes to sleep on her own and sleeps all night.


Do you think he hit the 4 month sleep regression and this is what caused his sleep to unravel?  For us, DS sleep got worse just after 4 months, and got *slightly* better when he hit his 10th month (by slightly, I mean that instead of waking every 1-2 hours, he now sleeps a 3,4 or 5 hour stretch each night).  I've read many parents say that instead of having a 4 month and 10 month sleep regression, their 4 month sleep regession LASTED until the 10th month.

 

I also envy parents who can put their kid in a crib and they fall asleep on their own.  I've tried the Elizabeth Pantley approach of putting him in his crib when he is sleepy but not yet asleep - but as soon as he is in the crib he starts screaming.  I honestly think it depends on the kid, it's just their temperament - some are OK with being placed in the crib awake, while some need to be parented to sleep.  But it sometimes bothers me that parents of kids from the first category have NO idea how draining it is to have to rock or nurse their baby baby to sleep for every nap and sleep time, and every time they wake.

 

One thing that I wonder about is, how will I eventually transition my baby from being rocked to sleep to falling asleep in the bed???

 

post #12 of 19


Redmom, I think that sounds about right for us. Around 10 months or so he started to sleep some longer stretches, but he does need to be next to me because sometimes he'll stir in his sleep, and he'll reach over and play with my hair and fall back to sleep (w/o nursing). So if I wasn't right next to him and his little hand was searching for me and I wasn't there,  he'd probably wake up a LOT more.  And anyone who suggests he sleep in his own bed doesn't really understand this.... (For example, MIL's response: "So you just need to get him a little doll with hair he can play with if he wakes up....") Not the same thing....  

 

I have read the Pantley book also, and it really helped with being able to put him down or transfer him to a crib for naps ( for safety, so I didn't have to stay nearby in case he fell out of the bed) but overall I think the way he sleeps is just his temperament. I agree with you when you say, parents of children who go right to sleep don't really "get it". 

 

 

Quote
Originally Posted by Redmom View Post



 


Do you think he hit the 4 month sleep regression and this is what caused his sleep to unravel?  For us, DS sleep got worse just after 4 months, and got *slightly* better when he hit his 10th month (by slightly, I mean that instead of waking every 1-2 hours, he now sleeps a 3,4 or 5 hour stretch each night).  I've read many parents say that instead of having a 4 month and 10 month sleep regression, their 4 month sleep regession LASTED until the 10th month.

 

 

 

I also envy parents who can put their kid in a crib and they fall asleep on their own.  I've tried the Elizabeth Pantley approach of putting him in his crib when he is sleepy but not yet asleep - but as soon as he is in the crib he starts screaming.  I honestly think it depends on the kid, it's just their temperament - some are OK with being placed in the crib awake, while some need to be parented to sleep.  But it sometimes bothers me that parents of kids from the first category have NO idea how draining it is to have to rock or nurse their baby baby to sleep for every nap and sleep time, and every time they wake.

 

One thing that I wonder about is, how will I eventually transition my baby from being rocked to sleep to falling asleep in the bed???

 



 

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by infojunkie View Post

For example, MIL's response: "So you just need to get him a little doll with hair he can play with if he wakes up....") Not the same thing....  

 


Another mom told me how her DD used a lovey - and was like "why don't you give DS a lovey" - I explained to her that we had tried and that the lovey is now sitting in a box collecting dust...she just could not get it that my DS did not take to a lovey.  Our kids just need to reassure of having Momma nearby.  Smart kids!

 

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redmom View Post


Another mom told me how her DD used a lovey - and was like "why don't you give DS a lovey" - I explained to her that we had tried and that the lovey is now sitting in a box collecting dust...she just could not get it that my DS did not take to a lovey.  Our kids just need to reassure of having Momma nearby.  Smart kids!

 

 

I've had 2 different pediatricians tell me that DS "should" be sleeping longer stretches.  The first one (who also told me that DS would become anemic if didn't give him rice cereal at 6 months, hence the switch to the second doctor) suggested that I just put him down in the crib when he seems sleepy.  Really!?  That's all I have to do??  And all this time I've been making it so hard on us both... 

 

It's funny because when people ask after your baby, they always ask about sleep.  If you are honest and say it's poor, they always try to give advice.  No one stops to think that if you have a challenging sleeper you have probably already tried every thing that you are comfortable with and probably even a few things that you are not so comfortable with to no avail.  
 

 

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tekcez View Post

 

 The first one suggested that I just put him down in the crib when he seems sleepy.  Really!?  That's all I have to do??  And all this time I've been making it so hard on us both... 

 


I hear you sista...this "pearl of wisdom" is TOTALLY unrealistic yet so many of the books offer it up as the silver bullet - and funny how none of them say HOW exactly to put them in the crib and let them fall asleep there.

 

I take my little one to swimming classes and he goes into a trance where he puts his head on my shoulder and it completely chilled out whilst I walk around the pool.  Obviously it takes him back to his days in the womb.  I think it's completely normal for our little ones to need lulling to sleep, since they were lulled to sleep for nine months.  And I've been thinking how, as adult we go to sleep by lying down and closing our eyes - well our little ones don't understand how to do that.

 

Also I roll my eyes when articles/books offer stupid advice like "if your baby is having trouble sleeping, perhaps it's because your neighbour has a light on outside their house keeping your baby awake" or "be sure to make the room dark and quiet"....no kidding sherlock.

 

I'm sure some babies fall asleep on their own in the crib, but I really do think it's the norm for most babies to need gentle lulling to sleep.  And it's annoying when doctors/books/well meaning friends and relatives suggest otherwise.
 

 

post #16 of 19

My dd is 8 YO but just had to respond b/c I so relate - I once calculated how much extra time Mama's of longer nappers got to get stuff done than I did - DD never napped longer than 45 min  - to my reasoning someone who had say a 90 minute napper actually had 90 minutes MORE time (45 min more time to do stuff, plus 45 min less time of being needed) Sounds bitter and resentful but I really wasn't - I still co-sleep with my 8 yo and she still has fitful sleep but we manage pretty well - still falling alseep with her (which I do by choice and cherish the time with her since I work FT - she does fall asleep on her own if I am not there which is usually about twice a week since I have night class)

 

When she was very small I was amazed that she only needed two 40 min naps a day - (and that was at like two months) And remember being amazed at the woman I met in the park with a 10 mo old that took a 2 hour nap like every 2 hours AND slept through the night ! (that seemed ridiculous to me and I would MISS my child if she slept THAT much)

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlehoneybee View Post

I totally get it.  My first was the worst sleep ever.  I look back at some of his old sleep logs and some nights he was waking up every fifteen minutes!  Add to that traumatic childbirth, my loong recovery and my having no help at all, and I was soooo exhausted.  I never really enjoyed his first few years because all I could think about was sleep.  My best friend's baby slept throught the night at TEN WEEKS!!!  She had sooo much energy and had so much fun with her son.  Other people would tell me it was my fault that DS didn't sleep well, but I came to realize that it was just his genetic makeup.  He was a very energetic child(even in the womb) whereas my friend's son was very placid and easy going and his sleep reflected that.


Yes, me too. DD didn't sleep through the night until she was 27 months old. Not even once. It's only since she night weaned at 30 months that I have felt like a normal human being again. It makes me so sad that when I look back at the first two years of her life, my first thought is, "I was so incredibly miserable" and "thank god that's over." But that's how it is!

 

Also, I just felt like an idiot for all that time. Like there was some solution, but I just couldn't figure it out. I felt like we'd made a huge mistake by co-sleeping & night nursing, but I couldn't figure out how to reverse course. And then when we finally gave up night nursing and she started to sleep through the night, it was like an overnight transformation, and she slept through the night all the time. Again, I just felt like an idiot, like why didn't I do this ages ago? But I had tried, had been trying for ages, and she wasn't ready until she was ready.

 

Even today, DD goes to bed between 9:30-10:00 most nights, and I think, "This is too late. There's got to be a way to get her to bed earlier." And DP & I put together a great plan and we try all this stuff. It doesn't work. DD is wired to stay up until 9:30-10:00 and to sleep until 7:30-8:00. There's just not much we can do about that.

 

*sigh*

 

Parenting is so humbling.

 

post #18 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redmom View Post



 


Do you think he hit the 4 month sleep regression and this is what caused his sleep to unravel?  For us, DS sleep got worse just after 4 months, and got *slightly* better when he hit his 10th month (by slightly, I mean that instead of waking every 1-2 hours, he now sleeps a 3,4 or 5 hour stretch each night).  I've read many parents say that instead of having a 4 month and 10 month sleep regression, their 4 month sleep regession LASTED until the 10th month.

 

I also envy parents who can put their kid in a crib and they fall asleep on their own.  I've tried the Elizabeth Pantley approach of putting him in his crib when he is sleepy but not yet asleep - but as soon as he is in the crib he starts screaming.  I honestly think it depends on the kid, it's just their temperament - some are OK with being placed in the crib awake, while some need to be parented to sleep.  But it sometimes bothers me that parents of kids from the first category have NO idea how draining it is to have to rock or nurse their baby baby to sleep for every nap and sleep time, and every time they wake.

 

One thing that I wonder about is, how will I eventually transition my baby from being rocked to sleep to falling asleep in the bed???

 

For a long time, based on my experience with DD, I thought this was a total myth. But apparantly this does happen for some parents. Must be nice!

 

The lovey thing has never worked for us, either. My breasts were the lovey for a long time. smile.gif

 

Even now that DD is 3yo, she cannot lay in her bed and fall asleep on her own. She must have one of us there, telling her stories, singing to her, patting her back. On a good night, it only takes 20 minutes to get her to sleep. On a bad night, over an hour. We tag team as much as possible.

 

 

post #19 of 19

I feel the same way. My 11 month old has been the same way since he started teething at 5 1/2 months.

A friend of mine has a baby the same age who is also breastfed on demand, baby led weaning, and part crib part co-sleeping, and he sleeps 10-12 hrs a night. I hate how people always blame the breastfeeding.

 

But last night I tried something new, and it seemed to work. I had been trying the method from the NCSS to get hm to stop associating sucking with sleep, but every time I would take the nipple out of his mouth it would jar him awake and he would get really mad and cry. I tried it over and over with no progress. So last night I changed the method a bit, I sat up in bed with my shirt open so he could breast feed if he wanted to, but I didn't help him stay there so that as fell asleep he would fall down into my lap and lose the nipple. He would suck for a bit and then lie down beside me and after about a dozen times he fell asleep! I waited for 10 minutes and then moved him to his bed where he slept for three hours!  Then he was up for a diaper change but went back to sleep the same way after nursing only a few times for a few seconds each.  The third time he woke I rocked him back down while he kept his hand on my nipple but didn't nurse. At some point between 3:30 and 7am he woke up and I brought him to bed with us, but I don't remember. So all in all a pretty successful night!

 

I does hurt a bit since he will try to hang on with his teeth, but it's was SO worth spending three uninterrupted hours canning christmas jam while listening to the radio and talking with DH.

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