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another sleep thread.... DESPERATE!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi, all!  I'm a lurker from the DDC who never posted much, but I've appreciated the resource that you all are.

I'm feeling really beat down today, because I CANNOT MAKE MY BABY SLEEP!  I take it really personally, I know, but I just need some support, ideas, objectivity here.  I honestly cannot tell if there's something really WRONG that I need to fix, or if this is just typical 5 month old baby behavior.

It's gotten progressively worse.  Since she was 3 months old, she's been waking up every 2 hours and won't go back down without nursing.  This includes the first part of the night, right after bedtime.  And now, for the last couple of weeks, she just will NOT stay asleep.  We put her down at 7, because she's so tired and fussy at that point, it's necessary.  (She doesn't nap during the day more than a few 30 min. cat naps)  Without fail, she's awake every 45 min. until I go bed around 10, and then every 2 hours after that until about 7.

Recently, I've been trying a suggestion from The No-Cry Sleep Solution to try and get her to fall asleep without the pacifier.  We've made a LITTLE headway in accomplishing that, but it's had no effect on helping her to stay asleep.  And she still insists on nursing.  If I don't nurse her every time she wakes up, she get more and more upset until it's completely pointless.

HELP!  I am at the end of my rope.

What am I doing wrong?  Is there something I'm missing?  Any ideas?

Thanks so much!

 

Emily

post #2 of 11
On the phone, so this reply will be sadly brief.

A) I've been there. It is SO hard. Hugs mama!!

B) You've got to find a way to get more daytime sleep. Less sleep during the day doesn't equal more sleep at night. It almost always equates to less. Maybe try focusing less on night sleep and more on getting sleep for your LO during day time hours. Naps are SUPER important! Do anything you can think of -- around here it's a lot of side-lying nursing, walking miles and miles in the Ergo or stroller, or sitting in the swing while I vacuum or have the blender going (yes, I do occasionally run the blender for 15 minutes to put DD to sleep). But I'd say to tackle getting more naps as one big suggestion.
post #3 of 11

Motherhood is hard enough without proper sleep.  My heart goes out to you.  Italian Mom is right that getting more daytime sleep should help at night.

 

Here are some of the things that have worked for us for daytime naps:

 

1. Baby Hammock:  My mom got us this one before she was born and it has saved us.  It has a really responsive spring that is instantly soothing.  She takes all of her naps in it and sometimes when she's fussy during the day, I'll put her in and bounce her for a few minutes and she emerges happy and relaxed.  

 

2. Infant massage:  We try to do it when she's happy and not too tired.  She definitely sleeps better afterwards.

 

3. Fresh Air:  We try to get outside everyday, no matter how cold because the fresh air and the change of scenery also seem to help her sleep. 

 

Good luck.  This too shall pass!

 

 

post #4 of 11

Maybe I'm missing something, but what is wrong with nursing a baby down?  I did this with my DD and Finn is the same way.  What better way to drift off into sleep then comfy at mamas breast?  It's a healthy, normal thing to do, especially with an infant, and isn't something to be ashamed of or try to fix.

 

Read this:  

 

http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/comfortnursing.html

 

That link will save your sanity.  It's NORMAL that baby is acting how she is.  

 

I think not allowing baby to nurse to sleep AND taking away the paci is going to be quite hard on her.  I think choose one or the other.  If you don't want to nurse at every wake up, use the paci.  If you don't want to use the paci, nurse.  Some babies need to suck to relax.

 

Lastly - I don't mean any of this to sound judgy or harsh -- I know you're tired!  But I do think you might be making things harder than they need to be.  I also agree to focus on naps and night sleep should follow suit.  Sometimes if all else fails, nurse baby and hold her for the 45 min of nap.  It might be enough to reset her and she'll take a better nap later.  Those 10-20 min naps take the edge off their fussiness but without the deep sleep, night sleep can suffer.

 

grouphug.gif

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies!

Babycakes- It's not that there's anything WRONG with nursing or pacifier for sleep.  The suggestion from Elizabeth Pantley's book is that baby wakes up more frequently as a result of being put down this way.  When they reach the lighter phase of the sleep cycle and the nipple is missing, they wake up.  So I figured it was worth a try.  If I could get her night wakings down to just THREE I would be happy!   But this isn't working, so I quit.  She obviously needs to suck to be soothed, and I'm ok with that.  I just wish that she would sleep for a 3 hour stretch every now and then!

Regarding naps- Yes, she will sleep in the Ergo, and I guess I just need to resign myself to that for awhile! Will she eventually outgrow this and learn to nap without it?  I can't do it for 3 hours a day when she's pushing 20 lbs.

Also, I do realize I need to relax.  It's helpful to read all of your experiences here and see that many of your babies have similar sleep patterns, and that it's NORMAL!

thanks

 

e

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post

Maybe I'm missing something, but what is wrong with nursing a baby down?  I did this with my DD and Finn is the same way.  What better way to drift off into sleep then comfy at mamas breast?  It's a healthy, normal thing to do, especially with an infant, and isn't something to be ashamed of or try to fix.

 

Read this:  

 

http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/comfortnursing.html

 

That link will save your sanity.  It's NORMAL that baby is acting how she is.  

 

I think not allowing baby to nurse to sleep AND taking away the paci is going to be quite hard on her.  I think choose one or the other.  If you don't want to nurse at every wake up, use the paci.  If you don't want to use the paci, nurse.  Some babies need to suck to relax.

 

Lastly - I don't mean any of this to sound judgy or harsh -- I know you're tired!  But I do think you might be making things harder than they need to be.  I also agree to focus on naps and night sleep should follow suit.  Sometimes if all else fails, nurse baby and hold her for the 45 min of nap.  It might be enough to reset her and she'll take a better nap later.  Those 10-20 min naps take the edge off their fussiness but without the deep sleep, night sleep can suffer.

 

grouphug.gif


yeahthat.gif

 

What you are describing sounds totally normal.  I have nursed both of my babies down to sleep.  Currently, DS nurses at least 3 times during the night and as frequently as 5 times during the night.  This does not include the initial nursing down at night.  Recently, DS won't let me get up after putting him to sleep at night, so I have to stay in bed with him.  I either go to sleep or bring something to do in bed.  We bed share so the frequent nursings aren't as big a deal as they would be if I had to get up.  DD did not sleep soundly through the night (as in from going to sleep till morning) until she was over 1 year old.  We don't use a pacifier, but I do nurse DS anytime he wants--which can feel like continually some days (and nights).  

 

One thing that helps with naps for DS, is our swing.  He takes a lot of naps in the swing and will fall asleep with out being nursed down.  If you need the evening time (or just want it for your sanity) you could try putting your little one in a swing at bedtime and she may stay asleep for a longer period of time in the evening and then you could put her to bed, in bed, when you are ready for bed too.  We have on occasion done this for DS and it works great--especially when we want some "mom and dad" time Sheepish.gif.

 

post #7 of 11

I really understand and am sorry you are going through this. My baby would get up 3 times at night, and I was fine with that (if not a bit tired/cranky the next day)...But when his pattern changed to 5-6 times a night, I too became desperate. It's hard for me to function the next day - my mood, relationships with people around me, and my most basic thinking are all affected. My baby also takes very short naps (30-45 minutes, if that) during the day. 

 

Getting baby to take longer naps is key. I am now swaddling and making it darker in the room where baby naps...Yesterday my baby took a nap for an hour! A definite improvement...

 

I am also putting baby to sleep earlier. I give him a bath, change his diaper, play some relaxing music, and then nurse him...I am trying the Pantley Pull Off method these days to see if it helps in the long run. As other mamas here have suggested, white noise is helpful; that is something I am going to add to my repertoire.

 

Anyway, I feel you. That said, don't beat yourself up about nursing baby to sleep. Just know that, in time, things will get easier. Oh, and going for walks outdoors does seem to help too...


Edited by Ree Tee - 1/20/12 at 6:31pm
post #8 of 11

i am typing one- handed, so forgive typos and short response.  I am in the same boat- when 2-3 night-nursings turns to 5 or 6 I lose sanity - it's not that it's not "normal" for the baby- it's that the mumma NEEDS sleep to function- at least I do!!!!!!!!!!  I have read the No-Cry Book a zillion times - and Healthy Baby, HEalthy Sleep _ I end up confused.  I wish I had the answers - sleep-deprivation is depressing .  I just bought cupcakes at Wal Mart- GROSS!!!!!!!- for my DD's bday tomorrow since I have no energy to make my own - and store-bought cookies for her class on Monday- Ive NEVER bought any store baked good in my life and feel awful but I dont have time or energy.  Our eggs are sitting there going bad :(

post #9 of 11


I read through your post again and I'm not sure if you were/are concerned about your baby not sleeping or that you needed more sleep.  If it is about you needing more sleep, which is very important for moms (and dads), then I have a couple of ideas that may help.  I don't have much advice about how to get a baby to sleep longer without waking/nursing frequently at night because both of my children were/are heavy nursers and nurse a lot at night.  I have not tried anything to change this, so I don't really have any tricks that work.  Mostly, I just try to roll with it.  I do function fairly well even in a sleep deprived state, but certainly have days where I just need sleep.  Some things that help me are getting outside on a regular basis for at least a little while (I like to go for a walk--seems to be good for everyone), eat regularly and good foods (when I eat a bunch of junk it makes me feel even worse), allow yourself some vices (mine is coffee).  I recently have been reading Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali.  I really like it.  She has all sorts of advice about how to take moments to yourself and how to stay calm even when things are chaotic.  It has really helped me.  grouphug.gif

post #10 of 11

I can't even put Charlie down for naps because he nurses so much in his sleep! He's so busy LOOKING in the day time that he doesn't eat well and has to make up for it when he's unconscious. It'll pass.

It feels like if I'm -fighting- the baby, things don't go well. He nurses to sleep and then we stay cuddled up and he'll nurse again in an hour - you can almost set a clock by it. Sometimes after that we can get two hours between feedings, but not usually. We're really good at side-lying these days so usually I even wake up feeling rested!

 

We don't usually go to be to sleep until around midnight, though. He gets a nap around 7 or 8 (always on me in my recliner) and then he seems to sleep better at night - usually around 10 or 12 hours, waking every hour or two.

 

It does suck, but it's normal :)

 

Good luck!

post #11 of 11

I sort of feel like what do I know since I'm a first-timer, but a couple of things popped out at me when I read your post.  Putting your baby down at 7 for the night and having her sleep until 7am is a long time.  Maybe you should try gradually increasing her awake time, even until 7:30 or 8 and  you may get a bigger chunk of sleep.  How many cat naps is she having during the day?  It sounds like our babies have similar sleep patterns.  My babe will only sleep for 45 minutes to the exact minute for naps.  She gets about 4 of those a day.  Then she goes down at 7 and is up at 5:30/6A.  During that time period she nurses 1x, usually between 1:30-2:30.  If she wakes up any other time I will either give her the pacifier or give her the pacifier and rock her.  There was a point where I purposefully would only nurse her one time at night because I didn't want her to keep expecting me to nurse her all night.  With that being said, I nurse her about every 2 hours during the day, so I tank her up. 

We do white noise, we swaddle.

Some nights during the week she wakes up 4 or 5 times, I have no idea why.  Most nights she wakes up 1-2 times. 

 

It does suck.  You do need your sleep.  I don't know if you have a partner, but you need to bring in some help if you've got it.  I night parent during the week because my husband goes into work at 2AM.  The weekends are mine to sleep though and he night parents.  I nurse the one time during the night and he handles whatever else may arise.  He also gives dd a bottle in the morning to let me sleep in if I want it. 

 

Good luck!  hug2.gif

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