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Anybody else a nightweaning failure??

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Nightweaning is killing me. I am slowly dissolving into a quivering mass of exhaustion. I am so disappointed, because I held out nightweaning as our last hope, our last resort. Well, we nightweaned over a month ago, and Jackson goes 7-9 hours without nursing every night, but he still sleeps like crap. He does sleep in larger chunks than he used to (he will sleep at least one 3-4 hour stretch most nights), and this is great. But, the rest of the night is hell. Tossing turning crying hell. Last night he was up for an hour between midnight and 1 and then up for 3 hours between 3 and 6 when he decided to just get up for good. This is a little worse than our recent average, but not that much worse. I can't go on like this, but I don't have a single clue what else I could possibly do.

Ok, I have one clue. And we're exploring it. But I don't have that much hope (can't afford hope anymore, kwim?). Jackson and I are both on an elimination diet to rule out food sensitivities as a cause. And in a couple of weeks my good friend the ND is going to do some applied kinesiology for food sensitivities.

Has anybody else gone through nightweaning without better sleep? Does anybody have any other ideas for me? I don't think any of the usual culprits is to blame (teething, illness...)

Plain old support is welcome, too. I am so tired and so sad. Bleh.
post #2 of 21
i am so sorry things haven't improved for you guys. i've been wanting to ask how things were going with the nightweaning, but didn't want to be nosy!
i sure hope the elimination diet works for you both.
post #3 of 21
We nightweaned nine months ago and our nights are still awful SO I don't have any advice but I do have a lot of commiseration. I'm glad I read your post, though because I had been considering putting ds on an elimination diet for other health issues. I think I'll stop considering and get on it. Please post and tell how your experience with that goes- I'm really curious!
post #4 of 21
More support here! We have the same issues. I swear most nights the new baby sleeps better then the rest of the kids!:LOL I know it is exausting and frustrating. Just know that you're not alone!
post #5 of 21
Oh boy I'm sorry you're not getting any sleep. You know most people reading this thread know exactly how you feel - I do anyway. Being tired is like torture. My dd regualrly (a few times a month at the least) wakes up for an hour or two in the middle of the night. It makes me so angry and irrational. I tried nightweaning and gave up after one night it was so upsetting. My latest philosophy is do whatever I have to to get as much sleep as possible. I'm very curous about your allergy testing - I've had that same thought. My mother also asked me if I thought Maddy had sleep apnea waking her up which was something I hadn't considered. Not that there's much you can do about that. Anyway big hugs and sleepy vbes to the babe.
post #6 of 21
You don't mention how old your baby is. Also, what are your reasons for night weaning? I still nurse my 2 1/2 year old and 1 year old. They both nurse through the night occasionally. I just nurse them, they fall back to sleep and so do I. Have you heard of child led weaning? Most babies around the world nurse til 3 or 4 years or longer, including at night. Little bellys get hungry. Also, you probably have tried this, but I spoke with a mom not long ago who had overlooked moist diapers, and being overheated. Our babies sleep in just diapers at night and sometimes need a change even if they haven't wet, just because they get sweaty. Good luck.
post #7 of 21
Does he still nap? can you cut the nap down or out? If my dd has slept too much (which is still less than I need LOL), she's restless all nite.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Cheri
You don't mention how old your baby is. Also, what are your reasons for night weaning?
Hi, Cheri. I didn't include the details because I've posted ad nauseum about our sleep troubles in the past. I appreciate your input, though. Here's the deal - my baby has wakened a zillion times per night in his 16 months of life (we're talking anywhere from 10-25 times, and I don't just fall back to sleep, unfortunately). So, we reached a point where the nightwaking was seriously affecting the health and well-being of our family. That's why the nightweaning. Since the nightweaning, he's been having a snack and drink in the middle of the night, though I'm not sure he needs it... I worry that it's just another habit? We have tried the diaper thing. And we've tried cooler and warmer pj's. And snacks before bed and high carb dinners and homoepathic medicines and valerian and cranialsachral therapy and sleeping in different places and lavender baths and lavender in the humidifier and and and and and... So, nightweaning really was a last resort for us.

To answer your question, simonee, he has never been much of a napper, either. Most days he takes one 40 minute nap...

Thanks for the support, all... Sometimes it's just useful to get support from folks who don't think it's my fault and don't think I really just need to put him in a crib down the hall...
post #9 of 21
Tara, I am so sorry to hear you're having so many sleep difficulties still. It really sounds like its not hunger that's keeping him up and you are obviously comforting him. In your long list of things you've done I didn't see that you had him examined my a M.D. You might want to check into this to see if there's a physical cause. For example, if he has sleep apnea there are some types that can be cured with minor surgery. Actually if he has sleep apnea it would be beneficial to make sure he is treated, its hard on your body to lose sleep --as you know--but also not good to stop breathing. hope you find some solution soon. hugs to you.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the support, Serenity! We've actually had him to a few different kinds of docs, including an md... He is really thriving in every other way, and doesn't act as though he isn't getting enough sleep. I think he doesn't need the kind of sleep most people do!

We've been working on not nursing in bed at all, and that seems to be making an itty bitty difference. Nothing dramatic, but every itty bitty adds up!
post #11 of 21
My first ds was like this and I, finally after months of pressure, nightweaned only to find out that he woke up just as often except that then I had no way to get him back to sleep. I gave it up and slept next to him topless (or as close as I could get) and just resolved to doing whatever I had to do to get through my life. It wasn't pretty. I don't miss that era. And, sadly, I have no advice. Some kids are just like that, I guess. If it helps, he is now a REALLY interesting person and I think his activity and intelligence just never stop. I did notice that the more sleep he got, the more sleep he needed, oddly enough. I only mention it because he might sleep better at night if he naps better during the day. I was always trying to consolidate sleep and keeping him up (still do) all day to get in a good night, but it oftened backfires. For me, nightweaning didn't work until he was old enough to talk to and understand dark/light and day/night. It was, literally, overnight that he just evolved into someone who slept well at night. He is still active/restless, but he goes back to sleep on his own once he sees whatever it is he's looking for and now that he's old enough to adjust things himself, he can get it the way he wants it and take care of it without my help. (He's now four.)

Ds2, on the other hand, is a whole different story and I am doing all the same things. I only mention this to say to you and all the others reading, It's NOT breastfeeding, It's NOT co-sleeping, etc., etc. You just got a hard one this time around and hopefully next time you won't. Imagine how easy #2 will seem...
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Oh, Ackermama, I loved your post. There's just nothing like hearing from someone who has really been in your shoes, kwim?? There is a woman in a mama group I go to who had a baby like this, too. And his name is also Jackson!! And now that he is 5 he is sleeping through the night... and her second baby is sleeping like a dreamboat at 6 months old! Yup, I got a tough one this time!

And he does seem to sleep better at night when he naps better and vice versa...
post #13 of 21
Tara and Ackersmama- my first ds was the same- h*ll on wheels for sleeping until he turned about 3.5, then overnight he changed to someone who slept all night. I could pick him up and tie him in knots and he'd sleep through it. OTOH, my creampuff ds2 who slept so EASILY compared to ds1 is now horrible at night at age three!
post #14 of 21
I just nurse them, they fall back to sleep and so do I.
Jumping in here . . . when I've complained of exhaustion to fellow AP moms, the ones who don't understand it are the ones who can sleep through nursing sessions. I have never, never been able to do this, no matter how tired (and believe me, I AM tired!) I am. Whether or not you can sleep through a nursing session is a MAJOR factor.
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hear, hear, Mizelenius! You are so right... I have also never slept through nursing. When I hear people say, "I don't know how many times she nursed last night - I just sleep through it!" I am so jealous!!
post #16 of 21
I'm so glad you posted this! We did nightweaning - the dr. jay gordon/pantley mix plan - about a month ago. DD (19mos) always woke up at 3:30. And now she's back to waking every hour or so. I feel like a total failure!!! It's just not worth it to me anymore to battle with her so I end up nursing her at night whenever she wants. It's much less exhausting than sitting up in bed and trying to get her back to sleep without her na-na. At least I know I'm not alone!
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok, we're having some success... I'm feeling superstitious about sharing it, since I've come here many times in the past feeling hopeful about a change in our sleep patterns only to plummet back into sleep hell within a few days. But...

A week ago we decided to bite the bullet and stop nursing in bed at all except for nursing to sleep initially. We had done the Dr. Jay thing and stopped nursing for a 6 hour period, and thought maybe Jackson didn't get that. In fact, it seemed like he would spend at least half of that 6 hour period asking for milk, waiting until he could have it... So, I nursed him to sleep (and actually pulled off just before he fell asleep, a la Pantley) and then we didn't nurse again until 6 a.m. (and then we went out to the couch instead of nursing in bed). The first 3 days or so were hell. Horrible nights of crying and tossing and turning. Then, he slept a 5 hour stretch. Next night 6. Next night 7. Last night 8. Yes, my baby, the world's worst sleeper, slept the first 8 hour stretch of his life.

Don't congratulate me too much, as I'm sure that would increase the chances that he'll wake up 30 times tonight!
post #18 of 21
(knock on wood) that is good news!
post #19 of 21
Hi tara! I've been following your ordeal with Jackson and just wanted to offer my hugs and encouragement. There is a special place in heaven for mamas like you.

If my mother could post here she would tell you to simply mix a tablespoon of brandy in a glass of warm water, add some sugar, and voila! baby will sleep all night (thanks mum!) :

And yeah, I'm guessing if you have another baby you'll be blessed with an easy sleeper (here's hoping!!).

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hey, Piglet - you have always been so supportive of us during this sleep craziness! Even with your good sleepin' babe... I really appreciate it.

Well... I think we're getting somewhere. We've had 5-8 hour stretches most of this week. After that it's hit or miss, but you can't complain about 5-8 hour stretches!!

I'm not feeling rested yet. I think it will take a while to fill up the void. I'm trying not to feel too hopeful, either, but this is revolutionary sleep for us! This is amazing!
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