or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Co-sleeping and the Family Bed › Is this normal even for frequent nightwakers?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is this normal even for frequent nightwakers?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We're going on 11 months of no sleep...Please help... DH and I haven't slept more than a 2 hour stretch since he was born (and that has only happened a few times).

DS wakes up every 30 minutes-1 hour all night long and has since he got out of the newborn 'sleep all the time' phase. His nightwaking has not changed whether he's teething or not.

He often wakes for the day between 4-6am. I usually stay up with him nursing constantly in the rocker until then (he won't nurse with me lying down), and then DH gets up with him for the day and I get a couple of hours of sleep. DS usually wakes up at that time with lots of gas and needing to poop. Is there anything we can do to help him poop sometime other than 4am???

We've tried everything: elimination diets, bedtime routines, different sleep times, different sleeping arrangements, some solid foods, a HUGE array of homeopathics, Mylicon for gas, Motrin for teething (just to name a few). NOTHING helps. To top it all off, he's fussy all day long and demands much more energy than I can possibly muster up. I think if he slept better at night, he'd feel better during the day.

A while ago, we decided since we can't 'change' him, we need to change our attitude about it. I know it will only be a short time in the long run, but we're near exhaustion and going downhill quickly. I'm constantly sick now too. We have no family or friends in the area that can help, and no money for a babysitter.

My gut tells me that there's nothing physically wrong with him, he just can't self-soothe. With him at 11mo, what can I do to help him? Also, is this normal even for frequent nightwakers? I know that there's a whole spectrum of how well babies sleep, but should I be alarmed here? Any advice is very, very appreciated...
post #2 of 9
oh hugs to you. This sounds very familiar. I actually posted something very similar about my almost 9month old. Anyway, we were cosleeping and it was just not working. So, starting this past Monday we moved dd into a sleeper right next to our mattress. Since we have done that I have gotten one 5 hour stretch of sleep and one 7 hour stretch of sleep. I can't tell you what a difference even getting this small amount of sleep has made. I am happy, dd is happy, dh is happy. Last night, I decided to try to bring dd back into bed since she seemed to be doing better. It seemed that she just could not get settled. Everytime I moved she moved and vice versa. I can's say that this has been the easiest thing to do she does protest. But, we are right there to comfort her. However, I am not bf'ing her every hour back to sleep. My dh has been great in helping her soothe her self back to sleep by rubbing her back. Last night it took all of two minutes without a peep. We tried to institure the no cry sleep solution too and that was not of much help. I don't know if this is what you wanted to hear. Hugs to you. I know how awful it is to be sleep deprived. I was barely able to have conversations on some days. Good luck to you
post #3 of 9
Yikes! That is a lot of nightwaking. My 8 mo has been on a 2 to 3 hour schedule since birth and I thought that was a lot. I would first have babe checked just to make sure its not something physical, since he is fussy during the day too. It seems like he is rousing to nurse after every sleep cycle. Wouldn't hurt to check out the No Cry sleep Solution for ways to help baby learn to resume sleeping without nursing. I've just started trying some of her suggestions so its too early to tell. Some things we've tried is a consistent bedtime, quiet and dim lights an hour before bed, and a bedtime routine. This has helped to set his biological clock for sleep at 9 pm. He understands what's going on when the routine starts at 8 and is much happier. He used to get crazy and be a handful at night before I did this. I'm also in the process of using white noise, a security blanket, and other sleep cues, like back rubbing. Anyway, check out the book there are a whole slew of suggestions. My babe wakes up with gas and needing to poop early in the am frequently too. However, after this has passed, I try to get him back to sleep by nursing which works about half the time. The rest of the time I wait 1 1/2 hours to 2 put him in the car and he's out in 5 minutes.

On another idea, I read this book called the Aware Baby which asserted that babies don't need extensive routines and such and will go down to sleep if the environment is prepared for them. The author says its not necessary to rock and bounce babies until they sleep. I've used a little of that advice too. If ds doesn't fall asleep nursing he gets really upset. Now what I do is --if he doesn't fall asleep nursing, I prop him up on pillows in the center of the bed so he has a mini reclining chair, I hold his hand in the dim room, he watches tv for 5 minutes, I turn off the tv and he zonks out. Just sharing what currently works for us. HTH
post #4 of 9
Three things that are so important to our boys sleeping for longer are

--very dark room, our bedroom has blankets over all the windows and the clock turned to the wall, my oldest espcially gets up if there is any light

--white noise, actually a pretty loud airconditioner in the summer and a humidifier on high in the winter

--comfortable sleepware, so many baby pajamas are polyester non breathable,itchy tags, whate, my boys really sleep better with just a old cotton t-shirt even if they are a little cool than if they are in uncomfortable clothes.

Have you read this?
Dr Sears nightwaking
post #5 of 9
Though your gut may tell you nothing's physically wrong, have you considered the possibility of sleep apne, which can actually be very mild and not necessarily dangerous? I ask this because I teach 2nd grade, and this year, I have 4 students in my class who had sleep apnea until they had their tonsils and adenoids removed- since which time they all slept through the night for the first time! Two of the students just had it done this year, at age 7, one of them at age 3, and the other when he was 4. All of the parents have told me about their kids waking as often as your son when they were babies, and then gradually learning to put themselves back to sleep w.o the mom's help but still waking as frequently until their surgeries. Just something to think about!
post #6 of 9
OMGooooodness. This sounds like a lot to me. My dd has been like this, but not for longer than a couple of weeks, and usually only for a night or two. I'm afraid I don't have any advice, but if it were me, I'd check into physical causes a bit more.

In the meantime, I suggest you stay with ds the first 5 hrs of the night and then switch off with dh for the next 5 hrs (or vice versa). That way you both get at least one 5 hr stretch of sleep.
post #7 of 9
ooh, cross-post with comet, who seems to be coming from a similar place as me, idea-wise...
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions! I think that we will try to get into a MD to check it out further. DH has enlarged adenoids and sometimes stops breathing during sleep, maybe it's inherited? We've gone to a great pediatric ND, and he hasn't noticed anything so far, but who knows if there's something he hasn't seen.

We've tried the No Cry Sleep Solution and it hasn't had any improvement in the last 4 months. We've also tried almost every sleeping arrangement possible--co-sleeping, sidecar, me sleeping in a different room, DH doing the same, DS alone. Our problem is that our apartment is really small, so even if DH is taking over the nighttime wakings, I'm still awake.

Also, I always hear of people saying to put baby down before they fall asleep fully, but does this work for high-needs babies? DS won't sit still even for a second during the day (even in my arms), will the night be any different? He has never fallen asleep any other way besides nursing or walking down. How do you get them to lie still enough to possibly fall asleep? Thank you for all of your support.
post #9 of 9
I always thought babies slept better when you lay them down if they are in a deep sleep. I walk my DS to sleep and once he's fallen asleep I continue to walk/sway for another 15 minutes. If I lay him down too soon he wakes as I'm trying to lay him down. I think the laying the baby down when he's not fully asleep is for teaching them to fall asleep themselves...am I wrong?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Co-sleeping and the Family Bed
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Co-sleeping and the Family Bed › Is this normal even for frequent nightwakers?