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This has to end. (Warning a long venting post)

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
My DD will be 14 months tommorrow. I never, ever imagined that we'd still be here, with no progress almost a year later.

My MIL tells me that my DH didn't sleep through the night at all, until one morning, when he was 14 months old she woke and realized that he hadn't woke up the whole night. She actually called a friend because she was afraid to go in his room for fear that something had happened to him!

I guess, deep down, I thought that she would do the same thing. But on the eve of 14 months, she isn't doing any better than she has in the past year. Last night she actually woke every single hour. Yes, that's right. Every single hour. My DH tried to help but she just thrashed and screamed until I got up and moved to the futon with her.

I have long since reached the end of my rope. I've been sick a week out of every month since September. I am depressed. I am unable to focus on work and have been reprimanded a few times for it. I want to scream at anyone who talks about being tired because they have no clue what tired is.

This frequent night nursing is ruining our nursing relationship. Her latch has gotten so bad at night, that I have welts and am in pain everytime she nurses, day or night. I feel like I have no personal space and that makes me feel bad, too. Like I'm not doing a good enough job because I can't just put up with it. I want to scream everytime she asks to nurse.

She has all of her teeth. She isn't sick. She doesn't have allergies- we've done every elimination diet/envionment purge imaginable. She eats all organic fruits, veggies and soups with very little processed foods. We clean with all-natural GSE and launder with clear detergent. We also vaccum every other day to keep things clean. She nurses frequently during the day. She is worn/carried a lot and responded to immeadiately when she needs us. She goes to playgym 3 days a week so she gets her energy out. We take walks everyday that isn't too cold and keep the blinds open all day so she gets enough sun. We keep the room dark at night. We have white noise machine going all night to eliminate outside sounds. I don't know what else it could be- but a 14 month old waking hourly is NOT NORMAL!

I am trying very hard to be a good, attached parent. But I cannot help but wonder, if parents were meant to do this for their kids, why wouldn't we be equiped to need less sleep. I have been getting 4-5 hours or less of interrupted sleep every night for a year and I can tell you that it isn't enough. We are going to see the Sleep Lady next month. I'm about to the point that I'm ready to try CIO. We have tried everything else and I don't want to make a choice I will regret later, but I just know that I cannot do this anymore. I feel bad, but I can't function and provide a stable, loving and secure home for my daughter anymore.

Thank you for listening (and not flaming me!) If you look through my past posts in this forum you will see that I am not mainstream about nighttime parenting in the least, but my husband and I are falling apart trying to do this.
post #2 of 46
Super big hugs to you. I so know what you're going through. You can read a short history of my stuggles with my DD's sleep issues here:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=238718

Quote:
I want to scream at anyone who talks about being tired because they have no clue what tired is.
Yes! Oh my gosh, back when my DD was waking hourly all night long, my SIL, who has a DS just 1 week younger than my DD, would IM me complaining "DS woke up in the night last night (once). I'm SO tired." Man, I wanted to punch her through the computer. I know for her, she was tired because she was used to sleeping through the night, but there's just no comparison. The worst is that she knew that I was up all night every night, and still would complain when she got woken up once.

Quote:
I don't know what else it could be- but a 14 month old waking hourly is NOT NORMAL!
I know it's hard to hear, but I really think for some kids it is normal. Meaning, some perfectly healthy, happy, normal kids wake hourly just because. It's not anything you're doing wrong, and it's not anything wrong with your DD. That being said, I don't want you to give up hope. It can and will get better.

Now for some suggestions.

She might sleep better with her own space, and you don't need a crib at this point to do that. Put the futon mattress on the floor in your room, or on the floor in another baby safe room. Nurse her to sleep on the futon, then get up and go to your own bed. I found that my daughter really likes her own space when sleeping, and moving her into her own bed made her nightwakings go from every hour, to every two or three hours sometimes. This is difficult to keep up, though, because you have to get out of your bed and move to hers when she wakes, and then back to yours again once she's back to sleep.

If you're in an area like mine, it's been really cold lately. I realized that even though my DD seemed warm enough, she still slept so much better when I doubled up her pjs. Also, with the heat on all the time during the day, the air has been getting really dry. A humidifier has made the air more comfortable for her, and she sleeps better with it.

And then if you're still really desperate, and you feel like your DD can physically go without night nursings you could try nightweaning her. See the above link for my nightweaning experience. My DD is older than yours, 18 months, but nightweaning her now has been life-saving. In just 1 week she went from waking hourly to sleeping from 8:30 pm - 5:00 am without even rustling once. And you can do it without CIO. (CIO in my opinion is leaving a child alone to cry.) For me it was important for me to feel DD was showing signs of being ready before I nightweaned her, but if you're in such a bad state that your relationship with her is really starting to suffer, you have to do what's best for your family all around.

Good luck! I really hope you find something that helps you.
post #3 of 46
She has ALL of her teeth? Are you sure? The reason I'm asking is because I think some people think of the 2nd year and third year molars, and canine teeth, as something that comes in later... if she already has these, I apologize for doubting you But if not, she's probably still teething.

My DS has all 4 of his canine teeth coming through now, so I'm just waiting on those last 4 molars! I'm still convinced I will get some sleep after that!

Sorry you're so tired. {{{HUGS}}} Hang in there, mama, things are going to get better!!
post #4 of 46
It is normal -- but not fun!!! -- for a 14-month-old to wake every hour. 14 months was one of the two hardest times I had with my dd. I don't know if it is similar for you in other respects, but I suddenly felt like I didn't know her yet she needed me constantly. You listed all the physical stuff, except growth spurt (which is a possibility), and it's great that you've thought through all of that (though unfortunate that none of it worked). But to me, all of 1yo is fair game for some harrowing periods of *mental* change, e.g. language and sense of self, with the exact ages varying from child to child. As you have probably noticed reading here, it seems that virtually everyone goes through one or more periods of extremely frequent and annoying night nursing -- plus extremely frequent and annoying everything else (where is the rueful smile smilie?) -- at some time during 1yo.

Have you tried getting her to nurse more during the day? Sometimes they will make up for what is lacking during the day (even if they are too busy to ask for it) by nursing at night.

You wrote, "But I cannot help but wonder, if parents were meant to do this for their kids, why wouldn't we be equiped to need less sleep. I have been getting 4-5 hours or less of interrupted sleep every night for a year and I can tell you that it isn't enough."

First of all, we were meant to do this in a different kind of context, one with a lot more people around to help and a far less rigid schedule. So (though it sounds like you are already aware of this) you have to take it easy on yourself and feel good about what you have done.

Now: Is there *any way* you can do better than 4-5 hours or less of interrupted sleep without getting your dd to sleep through the night right now? Can you spend more time in bed? Get someone to take care of her while you take a daily, kid-free nap? Get someone to take care of her for several hours on your day off while you catch up on sleep? Get someone else to take care of whatever else is keeping you from sleeping (e.g. housework)? Drop other commitments? Substitute dh with EBM or other forms of comfort part of the night? See a lactation consultant about her latch and what else might be going on with the nursing?

For a lot of babies, this naturally works itself out, or in any case nightweaning becomes easy and gentle as soon as they have the verbal skills and time sense and less physical need. Maybe this is now for your dd, and you would have luck with telling her you can't nurse right now, offering her sippy cups, etc. But if not, it will happen. There are no guarantees about when, but for my dd it was a couple of months before she turned 2. At that point this child who nursed constantly and had had a couple of periods of near-constant night nursing during her second year just changed. She was different then in so many ways, all associated with her suddenly learning to talk (went from a handful of animal sounds at 18 mos to 3-word sentences at 20). btw I do not mean to say that she nightnursed constantly that whole year. There were rough patches and easier ones. I guess I mean to underline that 1YO IS STILL A BABY. We don't really expect that in a culture of 12-month-old weaning, but no, 14mo is not fundamentally different from 11mo for many babies. That doesn't mean it's going to go on forever.

Obviously you are seriously suffering from sleep deprivation, and I hope that you can figure out whatever *you* need to do to get more sleep and make it work with your dd.
post #5 of 46
My dd is 1yo. She has not slept for more than an hour or 2 without waking up in many months. I'd love a 4 or 5 hour stretch! Count your blessings- it could be worse.
:-)
You really must get an ocassional baby break. I get dh to take her on field trips once in a while. It's a sanity-saver.
post #6 of 46
She was saying that she gets 4-5 hours or less of interrupted sleep.


And it feels like you are talking about my second baby. We did Jay Gordons night weaning and it worked like a charm! After a while anyway. And she needed her own space at that point, where she couldn't smell me or hear me. And then she slept. Now she is three is scared of the dark, so we are starting all over again...
post #7 of 46
I feel for you. Your life sounds unbearable, and it doesn't have to be that way. Even Dr. Sears says, if cosleeping isn't working for you, for heaven's sake, don't do it. I don't see how you are doing yourself, your husband or child any favors to keep this schedule up in the holy name of Attachment Parenting. Get yourself a copy of Weissbluth's book, Healthy Sleep, Happy Child. The CIO stuff, you can take it or leave it, you don't have to do CIO...but frankly, I would do whatever it takes to get some sleep. I saw this in my future, and did not want to live like that....I started getting my daughter to sleep through the night around six months. It was a transition from 4-5 nightwakings to 2, then 1, now zero at 14 months. You can do it differently. Kids need their sleep and parents do to....do something about this now, before you go insane.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Too Busy
My DD will be 14 months tommorrow. I never, ever imagined that we'd still be here, with no progress almost a year later.

My MIL tells me that my DH didn't sleep through the night at all, until one morning, when he was 14 months old she woke and realized that he hadn't woke up the whole night. She actually called a friend because she was afraid to go in his room for fear that something had happened to him!

I guess, deep down, I thought that she would do the same thing. But on the eve of 14 months, she isn't doing any better than she has in the past year. Last night she actually woke every single hour. Yes, that's right. Every single hour. My DH tried to help but she just thrashed and screamed until I got up and moved to the futon with her.

I have long since reached the end of my rope. I've been sick a week out of every month since September. I am depressed. I am unable to focus on work and have been reprimanded a few times for it. I want to scream at anyone who talks about being tired because they have no clue what tired is.

This frequent night nursing is ruining our nursing relationship. Her latch has gotten so bad at night, that I have welts and am in pain everytime she nurses, day or night. I feel like I have no personal space and that makes me feel bad, too. Like I'm not doing a good enough job because I can't just put up with it. I want to scream everytime she asks to nurse.

She has all of her teeth. She isn't sick. She doesn't have allergies- we've done every elimination diet/envionment purge imaginable. She eats all organic fruits, veggies and soups with very little processed foods. We clean with all-natural GSE and launder with clear detergent. We also vaccum every other day to keep things clean. She nurses frequently during the day. She is worn/carried a lot and responded to immeadiately when she needs us. She goes to playgym 3 days a week so she gets her energy out. We take walks everyday that isn't too cold and keep the blinds open all day so she gets enough sun. We keep the room dark at night. We have white noise machine going all night to eliminate outside sounds. I don't know what else it could be- but a 14 month old waking hourly is NOT NORMAL!

I am trying very hard to be a good, attached parent. But I cannot help but wonder, if parents were meant to do this for their kids, why wouldn't we be equiped to need less sleep. I have been getting 4-5 hours or less of interrupted sleep every night for a year and I can tell you that it isn't enough. We are going to see the Sleep Lady next month. I'm about to the point that I'm ready to try CIO. We have tried everything else and I don't want to make a choice I will regret later, but I just know that I cannot do this anymore. I feel bad, but I can't function and provide a stable, loving and secure home for my daughter anymore.

Thank you for listening (and not flaming me!) If you look through my past posts in this forum you will see that I am not mainstream about nighttime parenting in the least, but my husband and I are falling apart trying to do this.
post #8 of 46
My dd went through separation anxiety when she was this age and so did some of her friends. Also, at this age, my dd was getting 8 teeth - all canines and molars - and that was early, so I agree with whoever questioned that your child had all of her teeth. So between the teeth and the sep anxiety, my dd woke up quite frequently too.

Now that I went through that, I realize I have no advice. I had her in her room at that point because I didn't want to co-sleep (I was a silly stubborn person back then) but I learned to bring her closer and started co-sleeping some time shortly after this age. That's what worked for us, but it only helped in that I could sleep through the nursing. We didn't have a latch problem. Definitely get that checked out through LLL or a LC.

If it helps, my dd has now learned to sleep through the night, but she's 4.

I try not to remember these nights as I am having a baby soon and fight wondering what I am in for with this one, but I really do feel for you. I hope you find a solution that you and your baby can live with (and sleep with!).
post #9 of 46
I really sympathize with you, though I have no advice. My son is also 14 months and I'm a walking zombie. Last night he went to bed at 8:30 and was up at 9:15, 10:30, 12:00, 1:15, 2;30 - 4:00 (awake for that whole time), 6:00, 7:15. I was enraged at the 90 minute wide awake time. As I told my husband, I can function on 4 hours of sleep, not well, but i can function, but not 2.5 hours. Or not 4 horus of sleep for 14 months. My boobs feel raw in the morning. Raw, and empty.

I don't know what to do either. I co-slept with my older three kids and they SLEPT, while co-sleeping. This little guy just doesn't. He's not a happy camper in the day, or at night.
post #10 of 46
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your advice and sympathy... I will definately try to get to an LLL meeting... Do they let mamas with Toddlers to the regular meetings? I am a corporate WAHM, which means I have to work 8-5 and the only toddler meeting in my area is during work hours I don't even know when this bad latch started... it just feels like I can always feel her teeth, KWIM?

As for napping, unfortunately, I really don't get to nap. My DD is still pretty high needs... she won't let my DH (who is the SAHP) cook in the evening, so when I am done working at 5, he cooks dinner, we feed her and then she plays and goes to sleep. We don't eat until 7-8 pm, after she is in bed and then we have some "alone" time (I have made this a priority because we were having lots of trouble without some time each day to talk, etc). I usually get to bed between 10-11pm because that time is interrupted with wakings. Then it takes a while to fall asleep because of the wakings and I end up with very little sleep. It just feels like a neverending cycle.

We do get help sometimes, but we live 3-4 hours away from family so it is hard. But when our parents stay for weekends, they take her in the morning and let us sleep in. That is heavenly! I cannot explain how wonderful that feels

She sleeps on a futon in our room, so I can lie down and nurse her and I can hear her cry out. When I finally fall asleep, often I do so deeply that I wouldn't hear her on a monitor, plus I like having her in our room. When she wakes I nurse her and sometimes stay with her on the futon, but usually I go back into my bed. She thrashes around in her sleep alot and just doesn't do well and wakes even more when I am there, it seems.

Ahhhh, thank you for understanding. We are trying so hard to do this her way, but I feel like our family is way out of balance. It feels like slipping into a dark hole with nothing to hold onto. We're rethinking our convictions and trying to come to terms with whether or not we need to persue other options that we would not have considered before. I'm sorry that there are others feeling this way as well.

Thank you for understanding and reading my sleepy rambling.
post #11 of 46
There are no restrictions on going to LLL meetings. Anyone that is interested in breastfeeding can go. If you are nursing, it doesn't matter how old your child is. You are absolutely welcome. We have women and children as old as 3 or 4 who are nursing who come to our LLL meetings.
post #12 of 46
I'm sorry I misunderstood. I thhink my sleep-deprived brain isn't firing all its pistons.

We also have no family near. But we found a high school aged girl who is wonderful and we hire her to come play/care for dd while we get work done and take a break, nak
And dd NAPS for her!!! Go figure.
post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Too Busy
My DD is still pretty high needs... she won't let my DH (who is the SAHP) cook in the evening.... We are trying so hard to do this her way, but I feel like our family is way out of balance. It feels like slipping into a dark hole with nothing to hold onto. We're rethinking our convictions and trying to come to terms with whether or not we need to persue other options that we would not have considered before.

This seems pretty out of balance. Like AP gone bad. Please take better care of you. Don't throw out your convictions, but she isn't an infant any more, it is time to make some adjustments. At this age you can do a bit of baby "training". It seems like you getting some sleep is priority number one. Nothing else matters until that happens. So start working on something other than nursing for sleep. Maybe you and dh can split the night. Try and have him settle her for the first two or three hours and then you take over. Funny with my Joey- he never slept very well until I got pregnant and then very motivated to get things working better. I also made it clear to dh that once I had the baby, he was going to be responsible for ds#2 at night... well he got motivated as well. Joey has slept through the night mostly since Zach was born and if he does wake, dh goes to him and settles him. He has slept better in his own bed, and once I night weaned. DS #3 is doing a bit better, he nurses 3-4 times at night but I am already working on nursing just a bit, to settle him and then talking, soothing him back to sleep. Don't feel guilty for taking care of yourself, you sound pretty miserable. Taking care of you, is taking care of her.
post #14 of 46
: I better get this on.

When my youngest son approached a year I began night weaning using the Jay Gordon method. It worked and its something I don't regret. My husband had to take over the night time issues for awhile but it brought us much needed sleep and a rest for my tired boobies. When nursing is not enjoyable for you, then its time to do something different. If you night wean its not going to be detrimental, it may be beneficial to all of you actually.

My four year old has begun to have some serious sleep issues the past few months and so I have really been digging deep about sleep, healthy sleep, and what I have come across is that most babies, unless they have health problems, neurological problems or were premies can begin sleeping 6-8 hours or more a night by six months old straight, and sleep 10-12 hours straight by a year old. (this is based on research and sleep studies mind you)

I was recently at my son's psychiatrist office, who has worked with children and adoloscents for 20 years and he told me something that gave me a lot of pause to think about. He said that in 20 years of practice working with children and adults, he has NEVER had a child come in with learning, behavioral or emotional problems because a child was taught to sleep through the night. He said and let me quote "I've never had a patient say 'Dr. **** my mother let me cry it out or sleep trained me and it has screwed me up for life." He did however tell my husband and I that young children, going back to a year old show behavioral problems, growth problems, learning problems, and even eating problems when they do not get enough sleep, continuous sleep at night, or have lots of night wakings. He told us that he has had thousands of parents and children in his office with sleep issues and that often times encouraging sleep, sleep training often made some behavioral problems and learning problems completely disappear once the child began to be getting the proper sleep. So after our meeting, and with his suggestion I bought the "Ferber" book to "ferberize" my four year old. (he said he used it when his child was 3)

I was quite embarrassed to be going into a bookstore, obviously pregnant, buying the CIO book. I wanted to scream at the cashier "I swear I am not doing this to my baby, I cosleep, I breastfeed!" and I got out of there as quickly as I went in. That afternoon while my younger children napped I read Ferber's book. And you know what its not "evil" and there is a lot more to it than what some here would describe as "CIO". There is a lot of great information in the book. Now I personallly disagree with his views on cosleeping, but there are great points in there about sleep disturbance and cosleeping, etc. He also doesn't even recommend CIO (and personally I thought the method wasnt as bad as what I had read in articles online and in magazines) until a child is 6 months old. There was an abundance of great information about how long children should sleep per day, getting a toddler and preschooler to sleep, conquering sleep issues that do/can develop and determining whether your child has legitimate needs verses manipulating you and it being more of a discipline issue.

So for the last three nights we have been "ferberizing" our four year old. I can tell you there has been no crying, no screaming, no tantrums from this child that often did this for hours each night refusing to go to bed, and he has been sleeping through the night. With a 14m old you would surely have to handle things differently, and by no means am I recommending CIO or "ferberizing" but I really found some of the man's suggestions not much different than the Happiest Baby On The Block or Jay Gordon's book on night weaning. (which I think would work for you best with such a little toddler) I wish you lots of luck. I know its hard to not feel guilt, because I do all the time, but after talking to our psychiatrist and family therapist, I've come to realize that healthy sleep habits, sleeping through the night is something that both children and parents need.

{{{HUGS}}}}
post #15 of 46
There is also no "No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. I know people who have loved this book and it worked for them. Disclaimer: It didn't work for me, but she had food intolerances and stuff beyond what any book could help with. Good Luck!
post #16 of 46
i have no advice only ds is the same. every hour. and 14 months. its insanity right? how much patience can you have? well, he only woke 4 times last night so i feel ok today.
post #17 of 46
Hi! This sounds so much like my first son. What finally worked for us was my partner taking him and taking all responsibility for the nighttime routine. I was pregnant at the time and could not unlatch my little guy. He would wake up so often throughout the night. I was happy to have the extra bed space !
I had always nursed my son to sleep as well so we had to start a whole different routine. We got a double bed for "his room" and my partner went in and read stories and slept in the bed with him. If there was the chance he would slip back into our room. ( my son is quite thirsty at night too, so he often needs a drink of water) This went very smoothly in my opinion. Now at three and a half he sleeps by himself in his room happily. Different personalities though... I have a very easy nightime nursing/ and sleeping relationship with my other son who is 16 months old.
Good luck! And sweet dreams
post #18 of 46
I'm going to jump in here with an unpopular opinion, but it is what has worked for me. I initially tried to follow AP tenets to the "letter of the law" and it tripped me up. I didn't pay attention to those things that were different or didn't fit with my family. I kept trying to do things and kept hoping would work. I also did not realize that my approach should change as she got older. Dr. Sears' books have some great stuff about nightweaning and about how attachment parenting changes with an older babe. They can begin to handle some frustration, and their wants and needs are no longer one and the same. They begin to have wants that are not needs and you can begin to balance their needs more with your own. I did my own version of "crying it out" with both my girls and I absolutely do not regret it. It was the right decision for me and mine and it greatly improved our lives.

What I did, when dd1 was 13 months, and dd2 was about 8-9 months, was to go in when they first woke and pat them back down, say it was her bedtime, not mine, and I'd be to bed later, night night, I love you, I'll just be in the next room, etc. Then I would go in the next room and let them fuss/cry a little and listen to how they sounded (Dr. Sears' "Baby as barometer" idea) and if they were winding down I'd stay out, but if they were escalating I'd go back in. I also paid attention to how they acted the next day. If they were clingy I'd know not to push and if they were fine I'd know we were okay. They never did get clingy. They wanted me there, but did not *need* me there, and I needed to be up doing my own thing and I needed uninterrupted sleep, so the other thing I did was to begin nightweaning and to tell them it's not time yet (a little older for this 18 and 15 months) and keep adjusting until we were at a schedule I could handle at each stage.

I also wanted to point you to kellymom.com. That site has some great info on what to do about chewed upon nipples!
post #19 of 46
I just wanted to say we are going through the same thing, nothing is wrong with her, she wakes now more at night than any other time, they only thing that will calm her is nursing. It's getting worse not better, oh she's 16 months.

I really like us all being together at night but I can't do it anymore, I'm a lousy mother I can't parent on so little sleep. We talk about night weaning all the time, I think we just need to commit to it. I'm so torn if she crys the whole house it up, I can't deal with that, but then I can't deal with this either.

Hugs and luck
Patience
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Too Busy
I am trying very hard to be a good, attached parent. But I cannot help but wonder, if parents were meant to do this for their kids, why wouldn't we be equiped to need less sleep.

We were meant to do this, with the help of our mothers, sisters, and neighbors... without jobs to wake up and get ready for at the crack of dawn... without the pressures of a society that marginalizes the impact a baby has on family and expects mothers to squeeze the baby into an exsisting lifestyle, and nurturing baby when it doesn't interfere with feeling good and looking good.
You're a natural mommy in an unnatural world, fighting against a strong current.

My daughter also wakes up hourly, but she's only 5 months old- and I already feel like I'm going to lose it. Not only is 5 or 6 hours not enough, but the quality of those hours is bad b/c you never really get into that deep REM sleep.
I'm only coping b/c I can sleep in late on days when my older daughter doesn't have school.

I can't imagine doing this and having to get up in the morning for work.

I can't give you much advice, except to say that ITA with those who have said to be flexible and consider relaxing your strict AP standards if it saves your sanity. Whatever decision you make will be the right one, because you've already proven your strength and your dedication to doing what is best for your daughter. You are obviously not a selfish woman, so don't be afraid that your decision will be selfish.

I also wanted to say that moms like you, who are so devoted to AP and then GET UP AND GO TO WORK absolutely amaze me!
I don't think I would have the strength to do what you do.
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