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What are we all doing wrong? - Page 2

post #21 of 90
With my second I was able to sleep through nursing, or at least not wake up all the way, because it wasn't all night and he would nurse and go right back to sleep. My youngest, on the other hand, kicked and squirmed and pulled at my hair-- not condusive to sleeping.

It really, really just didn't feel right that I was a zombie during the day and a teary mess at night.
post #22 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizelenius
Something that always comes to mind in these discussions:

Can you sleep through (most) nursing sessions?

I can't-- I have found that people who really struggle with sleep issues usually cannot sleep through nursing sessions. It makes a huge difference, IMO.


This is why we had to start night weaning, whenever she would nurse, I'd be AWAKE, she'd nurse for 5-15 minutes, then I'd lay there for another 30 trying to get back to sleep, do the math with a bab that wakes 3-4 times on a good night, I'd just be falling back to sleep when she'd wake again.

I also think that mom's today are expected to do so much more than before, we don't have the support system we used to and it puts a strain on everyone.
post #23 of 90
Glad you "dared" to open up the discussion on this question!!!

I think it's the support system that's lacking, and the impossibility of adapting our daily routine to life with a baby or very young child in our culture, even for SAHM.

We did cosleep with our son for a few years, some of which I worked (out of the home), some of which I "stayed home". He often nursed "all night", but I was able to get some sleep through most of it. I liked the closeness and we kinda "caught up" on our need to cuddle when we couldn't be together much during the day.

But for us, it was natural, I didn't know at the time what AP, cosleeping, etc. meant. It was just easier for us that way.

So probably, or just maybe?, if we didn't have any book to read pro or against cosleeping, nightweaning, and it was more easily allowed in our cultures to follow our instinct as parents, we would each find a solution (or several) that works best for us and our children.

Just asking the question and seeing so many people respond is a big step.

I love cosleeping so I'll probably continue, but OH IT WOULD HELP if I had someone to "take over" for me a few times during the week, someone I could trust (a friend, family member, neighbor), who would hold, cuddle and play with my baby while I take a nap or some me-time.

That's why I feel that a support system would make all these things easier, once we as parents have an idea of what we'd like to do (cosleep or not, nursing at night or not, ...).

So a village-type culture centered around family life and children sounds good to me right now...

I'm curious to read more reactions to your post SwissMiss and I wish you plenty of good restfull sleep!
post #24 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizelenius
Something that always comes to mind in these discussions:

Can you sleep through (most) nursing sessions?

I can't-- I have found that people who really struggle with sleep issues usually cannot sleep through nursing sessions. It makes a huge difference, IMO.
Yep, I agree. I also think that it depends on the number of nightwakings, and how close they are together.

I remember feeling very rested in the "newborn" stage, until my son was 9 months or so. We would stay in bed for 12 hours, from 9 pm until 9am, and I didn't feel there was anything amiss in his nightwakings. I didn't expect him to sleep through the night (aka 5 hour stretch, and he never did more than a couple of hours). But his night nursings were fast and gentle, and I think I did fall asleep before he did much of the time.

Something happened at around 9 months, and at first I dismissed it as teething, until all his teeth but the 2 year molars were in at 18 months. His nightwakings were more frequent and longer, and he would often use nursing as entertainment, which would keep me awake. Then I'd finally fall back asleep and he'd be waking me again in 20 minutes. I felt like one of those "victims" in that sleep torture where you finally get to fall asleep, but then are awakened by your interogator immediately thereafter. But more importantly, I didn't feel that he was rested in the morning. It wasn't just a phase . . . I waited 9 months to see if it would turn itself around. It didn't feel like "natural" nightwaking and, after looking around for the various methods, I nightweaned him. I am 100% sure it was the best thing for him, and his sleep (and mine) improved dramatically. He is no less attached and no less interested in nursing (he's almost 4 now).

Karla
post #25 of 90
Don't forget that you usually only hear PROBLEMS on these message boards.

I cosleep with an infant, have coslept with my now-moved-out kids, but we've never had problems. So I'm rarely on this board. I'll admit that I was lured in by the link to this discussion on the main forums listing.

I don't entirely sleep through night nursings but I don't entirely wake up either. It is a fog. I usually have no idea when or how many occur at any given night. Sometimes I think I haven't, but my shirt is open in the morning.

I did night-wean my now-older children, but both were night-weaned during pregnancies (I have really outrageous sleep needs during the first and most of the second trimester, around 15-17 hours of sleep a day). We coslept with both right on through the pregnancies despite night-weaning. I found that the closeness was still all there, maybe even better (it is nice to be snuggled into instead of searched sometimes, kwim?).

Anyway, to come to the point...even though I don't have PROBLEMS with these issues, I still need my morning coffee. I took a pharmacology class a while back and one of the things we learned was that in every culture with access to a plant that contained caffeine, there is a caffeinated food or drink that they use. So who's saying coffee isn't natural

That's all I really wanted to say. Maybe I'm more sleep-deprived than I thought, it took me so long to hit the point...
post #26 of 90
I don't think we, as AP moms, do anything wrong except that we (at least I get this feeling) want to be as AP as possible. If we choose to do something like have a crib, nightwean, or bottle feed for whatever reason, we often feel like a failure as a AP mom. I know I have sometimes felt that way. I think I exspect myslef to be perfect...

I nightweaned ds at 12 months. He was ready and only woke once for about 5 months before that, and he has slept from 8pm- 5:30 am every night since then. He also puts himself to sleep at night and at naps. I have a very constitent schedual for both my kids, mostly because I need structure to function. I wish I knew what it is that I did right (with both my kids, my dd is the same way) but most likely I think it is just their temperments. If he cried, or fussed at sleeping times, I would nurse to sleep or rock or walk or whatever him just like everyone here...
post #27 of 90
I don't think it's natural. I really don't. I think it comes down to what we envision before having a child and then what it really comes down to when it's time to do the parenting. I FF because I never produced but when ds sleeps with us he goes through at least 8 ounces of formula. He tosses and turns but still wakes up and is ready to go at 6am. Then it got to the point he wasn't sleeping well and either were we. He sleeps alone for the most part now, no nighttime bottles unless he's sick and it's all good all over. We really tried putting it off but when it came right down to it, it was the best thing. The really interesting thing is although there is crying involved in the changes it really isn't that much and it only lasts for a few days if that long. We were putting it off for us and what we were trying to accomplish ap-wise but it wasn't the right thing. There was no "natural" in the natural parenting. Our children are more independent then we often think they are and they wish to be so. They'll let us know when they need us.
post #28 of 90
This is why I am on the fence. First, let me say I cosleep/coslept with my children, and I am not opposed to it. I also breastfeed and support breastfeeding. Just wanted to make this clear.

Going on kid number four, reading literally dozen of parenting books, thousands of web pages and talking to numerous mothers I have found that their seems to be a push for extremes, a lack of discipline among the AP crowd, and a sense of martyrdom for the right thing.
Cosleeping can be wonderful, but it can also become a pain in your side -- literally. I find it appalling when I find mothers say that it doesnt interfere with intimacy (that they can have sex elsewhere) and that the lack of sleep doesn't affect how they function during the day to other mothers. Frankly I don't believe them and think they are trying to blow smoke at the rest of us who are questioning if this is something we should continue, limit, or change. I've read enough about sleep deprivation, especially in women, to know that it can bring on depression, health problems, hormone problems, forgetfulness and problems with concentration. I've also read a great deal about children who can't sleep through the night -- the truth is, developmentally a 6-12m old child can sleep up to six hours without waking -- unless they have health problems. While yes, some nightwaking is expected in toddlers -- frequent night waking is not healthy. Toddlers need sleep for optimal neurological development and physical development, lack of sleep can cause behavioral problems (moms around the ap/nfl community jump to say its diet instead of looking at sleep), and frequent night waking can be a discipline problem. (I have BTDT have the t-shirt) Also, cosleeping can affect marriages and intimacy, not for everyone but it can and to discount this is misleading and just plain wrong.

If a mom is having trouble sleeping because of cosleeping, or the child, its time to do something different. "Sleep training" doesn't have to be abusive or bad, in fact it can incredibly help families and children. I am not suggesting letting a baby CIO, but a toddler, well, they can turn it on as fast as they can turn it off. This is when a parent needs to discern wants vs needs. Its not always the right thing to do to stick your boob in the kids mouth just because they want it to pacify themselves on it. And if you choose to stop night nursing, or quit cosleeping and do something different, don't feel mommy guilt over it -- I seriously doubt your children will be emotionally scarred from the event. As I have said before, our family psychiatrist has said in 20 years of working with families and children that he has never had a child, teen or young adult come in with behavioral or emotional problems because their mother sleep trained them -- however he said he couldn't count the number of times that families and children had come in and had problems with sleep or problems dating back to bad sleeping habits as toddler or young preschoolers.

I think we as moms get so wrapped up into doing what we believe or have been told is right, vs what is right for our children and for ourselves. Sometimes our ideals don't work out -- and thats okay! IT doesnt make us bad moms, and doesn't mean if we do something different our kids will be damaged. You need to to do what is best for you and your kids, and what makes you the healthiest, well rested parent you can be.
post #29 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFence
our family psychiatrist has said in 20 years of working with families and children that he has never had a child, teen or young adult come in with behavioral or emotional problems because their mother sleep trained them -- however he said he couldn't count the number of times that families and children had come in and had problems with sleep or problems dating back to bad sleeping habits as toddler or young preschoolers.
Just wanted to note that this is hardly evidence. It's entirely possible that this psychiatrist could have been prejudiced against co-sleeping/night-nursing from the very beginning and has selectively interpreted his diagnoses in the light of that prejudice. Kind of like a pediatrician saying "Nonsense! Vaccines don't cause reactions!" and then refusing to admit a reaction was from vaccines because, well, vaccines don't cause reactions. KWIM?

As for the "natural" vs. "unnatural" argument, I think of course it is natural for infants to be in proximity to their caregivers at night as well as day, and of course nursing at night as long as mutually beneficial is natural too. I think some good points were made about animals "brushing off" older nurslings, though -- to me, the key is "mutually beneficial".

But I really think that the core issue is how we live in a society now that refuses to accomodate these practices even when they *would* otherwise be mutually beneficial. It's not a problem with the practice, it's a problem with the society. And I find it interesting that you would say that, about your psychiatrist talking about sleep problems and bad sleeping habits, when sleeping habits are so largely cultural. I recall it being brought up here more than once that sleeping through the night, all night, is a relatively recent expectation. So once again that could be an issue with our modern expectations clashing with our biological norms.

ETA:
Quote:
You need to to do what is best for you and your kids, and what makes you the healthiest, well rested parent you can be.
I agree with this. Especially with the clash between an unsupportive society and AP ideals, I agree completely that each family has to navigate as best they can for their individual needs.
post #30 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFence

their seems to be a push for extremes, a lack of discipline among the AP crowd, and a sense of martyrdom for the right thing.
Cosleeping can be wonderful, but it can also become a pain in your side -- literally. I find it appalling when I find mothers say that it doesnt interfere with intimacy (that they can have sex elsewhere) and that the lack of sleep doesn't affect how they function during the day to other mothers. Frankly I don't believe them and think they are trying to blow smoke at the rest of us who are questioning if this is something we should continue, limit, or change. I've read enough about sleep deprivation, especially in women, to know that it can bring on depression, health problems, hormone problems, forgetfulness and problems with concentration. I've also read a great deal about children who can't sleep through the night -- the truth is, developmentally a 6-12m old child can sleep up to six hours without waking -- unless they have health problems. While yes, some nightwaking is expected in toddlers -- frequent night waking is not healthy. Toddlers need sleep for optimal neurological development and physical development, lack of sleep can cause behavioral problems (moms around the ap/nfl community jump to say its diet instead of looking at sleep), and frequent night waking can be a discipline problem. (I have BTDT have the t-shirt) Also, cosleeping can affect marriages and intimacy, not for everyone but it can and to discount this is misleading and just plain wrong.

I think we as moms get so wrapped up into doing what we believe or have been told is right, vs what is right for our children and for ourselves. Sometimes our ideals don't work out -- and thats okay! IT doesnt make us bad moms, and doesn't mean if we do something different our kids will be damaged. You need to to do what is best for you and your kids, and what makes you the healthiest, well rested parent you can be.
Thank you! I stir up alot sometimes but have never quite had the courage to speak this much truth! I guess it's the four kids that give it to you. Thanks!
post #31 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by girlndocs
Just wanted to note that this is hardly evidence. It's entirely possible that this psychiatrist could have been prejudiced against co-sleeping/night-nursing from the very beginning and has selectively interpreted his diagnoses in the light of that prejudice. Kind of like a pediatrician saying "Nonsense! Vaccines don't cause reactions!" and then refusing to admit a reaction was from vaccines because, well, vaccines don't cause reactions. KWIM?
Actually you would be wrong. There are plenty of studies to show that sleep disturbance is harmful to adults and children, cosleeping or not. You ASSUMED he was against cosleeping, he isn't nor is he against night nursing, he actually coslept with his own children. He thinks there should be limits and he thinks parents need to discern between wants and needs. Far too many times he has seen sleep deprived parents with children exhibiting behavioral problems because of the lack of discipline in the home, and some are about sleeping at night.
post #32 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicitoria
Thank you! I stir up alot sometimes but have never quite had the courage to speak this much truth! I guess it's the four kids that give it to you. Thanks!
I made a vow when I was 30 to stop BSing. LOL I am also tired of ap/nfl moms whispering to me "I really did this, or had to do this" but in an open conversation or community they keep their lips tightly sealed. Why be this way? So I stopped.
post #33 of 90
As I've been reading this thread, I've been reminded of this article:
http://www.continuum-concept.org/rea...InControl.html
It doesn't deal specifically with co-sleeping or with weaning, but what it does deal with is the consequences of overdoing "child-centered" to the point that a parent become a martyr, and clarifies the difference between "in-arms" parenting, and "child-led" parenting.

To me, it's a very telling point. I do not believe in being "child-centered," and that makes me stand out in this neck of the woods. I do believe in co-sleeping for infants; I think there is a real biological need for mother and baby to be in physical contact all night. But I don't believe this in-arms phase was meant to continue uninterrupted into early childhood. There are some children who will naturally wean themselves out of the family bed, but there are some who take much longer, and I don't see where the idea came from that it is somehow wrong for the parent to take charge and direct a gentle weaning process.

The same for breastfeeding and weaning.

I don't think there's anything WRONG with extended nursing or extended co-sleeping, but I worry that families are persisting with arrangements that are clearly not working out of the idea that it is wrong to take an active hand in gently transitioning to arrangements that work better for the individuals involved.

I think of the analogy of other animals nursing. My cat nursed her kittens on demand for about 5 weeks or so, and then she started chewing cat food for them and putting it in their mouths, and nursing less. When they wanted to nurse and she didn't want to, she'd gently paw them on the nose and push them away. And somewhere around 10 weeks, she said enough is enough and actually started biting them if they tried to nurse. No hard feelings on either end, but she knew it was time to push them out of the nest and she did so.

I know I'm not making much sense here. I've got an 8-mo grabbing at the mouse and getting angry because I won't let her have it, so I have to go, but I wanted to jump in and say I'm glad of this thread and I think we're saying things that really need saying.
post #34 of 90
I like the ideas that have been brought up here, it's so true we sometimes need to use moderation and wisdom and not just adopt a practice all the way, no matter what the consequences are for all those involved (whether it be breastfeeding on demand, cosleeping or even probably sleep-training, etc.).

But I do want to say that I enjoy cosleeping, I loved it with my son and he nursed often at night. Of course, I was tired at times but I've had other times like that in my life (preparing for exams or presentations). And I really remember sleeping through a lot of it (the nursing not the exams! :LOL )!!! I just wanted to say that at least some of us that say they enjoyed extended cosleeping without nightweaning are sincere!

Sweet dreams (and lots of restful sleep) to everyone!
post #35 of 90
I do think there are times when some of us get obsessed with what dh calls "extreme" attchment parenting. If any kind of parenting is truly not working then, obviously make a change. Sometimes small changes work, sometimes bigger changes may be needed. Done out of love, and for the right reasons, we shouldn't beat ourselves up over it. Part of the problem, is admiting that something we wanted didn't work.

I have been reluctant to change parenting a style that has brought a lot of joy to me and my children, even during difficult phases. Fortunatlely for me, they were only phases. For my family, only small adjustments were needed and I am happily cosleeping with and night nursing both my 1 and 4 yo daughters. I also am a sahm and have the luxury of being tired on the tough nights. And, Yes, I do sleep through night nursings a lot of the time. It works for us.

Also, this board is a place where I come to feel accepted about my decision to continue to co sleep and night nurse. I don't have to go far from my front door to find 100 people tell me to night wean and sleep train. I don't expext to come here and be told it isn't "natural".

Be careful about statements like "the truth is, developmentally a 6-12m old child can sleep up to six hours without waking -- unless they have health problems." There is no such "truth" for ALL babies. It is true that babies are not supposed to sleep like adults, and that each baby develops sleep maturity according to his own timetable. Also, just because they CAN sleep through the night it doesn't follow that they SHOULD. Factor in personality, lifestyle, developmental milestones, teething, gas, stress, what kind of day they had, what kind of day you had,...the list goes on. I do not consider these to be health problems. Just real life. It worries me when I hear these statements, because it often quickly devolves into parents believing thet must make their baby sleep in 6 hour streches. That they are failing or "wrong" if their baby wakes more often. Please lets not put artificial standards on our babies and especially not on babies we don't know.
post #36 of 90
Allow some dissent, please.

I don't think it's necessarily overattachment to attachment parenting. It seems to me it's sometimes overattachment to certain ideas of how life should be that just don't match the reality of life with young children. And a lot of people are looking for a magic pill, so to speak, that will cause their children to instantly sleep quietly and calmly through the night all night every night and never need to nurse more than once every five hours and and and ...

Not saying that all the folks with complaints/difficulties are looking at it that way, just saying that it's hard to get to the reality under all the promises all those other parenting methods/books are making ...





Yeah, you can do it "the other way," the so-called nonAP or mainstream way, and sure, you'll find results that match whatever Dr. Ferber promises, or somesuch, but you can also do it this way. And sometimes it works. Sometimes not, but sometimes yes.

Because this is reality.






Sorry if that came off as ... well, you know what I mean. I didn't mean it to sound that way.
post #37 of 90
I have co-slept with my 3 and had a gap between 2 and 3 where I really felt much better for sleeping all night (although I did go to sleep much later as I met my now DH at that time )

Dd is now 2 and a bit and does sleep much better than she used to, possibly because I night weaned her near the end of last year, little by little, possibly not. I night weaned my boys at 12 months which didn't help their night waking but I felt that my life was so much more draining at the time (unsupportive ex.h among other things)and was looking for a solution.

Some children sleep well others don't. When these conversations come up I always think of the reality of adult life. When people say 'oh your dd is little isn't she?' Me 'Well doh - I'm 5ft myself' 'Doesn't he walk well' Me' Well yes he has been walking now for years and he is used to going longer distances on foot'. Adults come in all different sizes, prefer different things, have different habits and different tolerances, quite apart from different humour! Our children have the seeds of these adult lives in them already; they don't appear at age 18. We are all different.

My Dh can fall asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. I know this because I am awake listening to his half snores! I have never been able to fall asleep quickly and can lie for ages listening to the cacophany that is my family's night-time normality...........

I think my point is that life just is this way for many different reasons and we all need to find our way through it as best we can. Yes some of us might be making rods for our own backs - and I mean that in the context of child-centred living which then cannot be integrated into family living (bite me here if you want to), but for others there may be nothing that we can do to alleviate the results of our parenting choices. We just have to struggle on and make the most of the good days.
post #38 of 90
It disturbs me that the sleep disturbance/deprevation aspect of cosleeping is so often brushed off. I'm not talking about anyone specifically in this thread, but in the literature and NFL/AP community in general. People say, "Oh, but it is for such a short period of time!" Three years isn't such a short period of time when you're talking about sleep deprevation (I'm not sure how to spell that word so I'm just going to spell it a different way each time!). It affects people in different ways. I felt like I had the flu all the time when I wasn't getting enough sleep. It wasn't so bad with my first because I slept when he did. I didn't have a husband yelling about the house being clean or other kids to take care of. Even with my second, my oldest was in preschool and then kindergarten when he was a baby. I'd get him up and ready and then the baby and I would nap for three hours or so. My third was a different story. I had a toddler, who did not nap, to take care of. I started losing my mind a little. I didn't trust myself to drive because I was hallucinating. Tell me how that is "natural". For me, the problem was easily fixed by limiting nursing to once a night and putting the baby next to my bed instead of in my bed. I was lucky in that those things happened with no struggle at all. The fact that she started sleeping better, too, lets me know that I did the right thing. However, I know that there are people I know and people reading this that think that I did the "wrong" thing because she wasn't in bed with me, as if her being in bed with me is more important than the actual sleeping and the rest of my day.

I totally support cosleeping-- we're still doing it with my 3yo! I encourage every new mother I know to cosleep. If they balk, I suggest a cosleeper or at the very least a bassinet next to the bed. I think it is the best option at first, definitely, and I think families have to find their own way once things start getting uncomfortable.
post #39 of 90
Your post really resonated with me. I've felt the same conflict. On the one hand, I had deeply held beliefs about the positives of AP which correlated from my own personal values about nuturing and comforting my child. On the other hand, DS's nightwaking was causing me to become physically ill from lack of sleep, interfering with our plans to TTC our next child, and causing issues since DH had to sleep in the guest room when DS would come to nurse & sleep with me in the night (small bed, I'm a restless sleeper).

Finally, after one night of my arguing with DS over my not wanting to nurse every hour! DH suggested that he take DS when he woke at 2/3a and he would sleep with him while I went into the guest room. And so we did that, starting at about 13 mo, and within two weeks, DS was night weaned. Now I find when he does awaken in his crib I can pat his back and he almost always falls back asleep - occasionally I will pick him up and rock him while standing and that does the trick.

I think DS is doing better now as well - he seems more rested in the morning, and still loves our first-of-the-morning nurse. He sometimes falls back asleep after nursing and we snuggle and sleep (he sleeps, I doze) for an extra hour or two.

I love the idea of co-sleeping, and when DS was smaller it made sense for us. But I have enough of a time trying to sleep next to DH - adding a child in the mix makes it even harder.

Ultimately, you have to do what is right for you. And that may include night weaning. In our case, there was very little, if any, crying - just a lot of singing and soothing by my wonderful DH.
post #40 of 90
My DS wakes an average of 3-6 times per night, every night since he started teething at around 6 months old. He is now 20 months and has 18 teeth, but still wakes up a lot. He is a very happy, healthy, big, joyous toddler during the day, and seems to suffer little, if at all, from waking so much. Like a pp said, some kids just sleep differently. He is really sensitive, and most anything will wake him up (especially a stuffy nose). My ds would have a fit if i tried to nightwean him. In fact, I've tried gently a couple of time, and he screams until I nurse him. It hurts my heart and my stomach to listen to him cry, so I know he isn't ready for that yet. When people criticize me or try to give me advice (I would do a lot of things for more sleep right now, but it just isn't possible) I just tell them that when God was handing out children, he picked us to be blessed with our DS, since He knew we only were going to have one child and we could handle it.

So, what I meant to say is it's not all or nothing with nightweaning and sleep and AP and all that. It has to do with the individual kid. If putting my DS in a toddler bed would work, he'd be in one tonight. Things need to be more gradual with him, and I respect that.
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