Sleep, where are you? - advice please? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-03-2011, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there,

 

Well I will just start off by saying this may be one of those early days things that will just sort itself out - in the "this too shall pass" category. Even if it is, it would help me so much to hear your thoughts and see if you've experienced anything like this. Yesterday I was reading about all of you with sore nipples from all the nursing and it make me feel so much better to know that my baby isn't the only one who seems to want to nurse pretty much constantly.

 

My baby is a week old today.  We've been having some really horrible nights due to his need to cluster feed at night, combined with an inability to settle into deep sleep so I can unlatch him and sleep myself.  I have been swaddling him as he definitely wakes himself up with his hands sometimes. The first night I swaddled him he did so much better but then last night I only got 2 hours of sleep over 10 hours in bed. Amazing. DH is still off work this week to help me out but this will be my last week of getting to take naps with the baby to get more sleep as I have a 3.5 year old to take care of as well.

 

The baby will nurse fine for awhile and then suddenly just spit the nipple out and start crying...and rooting frantically to have it back. Or he will nurse to sleep and I will wait until he's sleeping a bit deeper and ease the nipple out of his mouth, roll over soooo carefully and get anywhere from 0-60 minutes typically before he wakes again and cries immediately for the nipple.  Sometimes he will nurse so much that he is spitting up, I can only imagine that with the amont of milk he takes in he is overfull. I keep having letdown after letdown during these sessions. I want him to learn that at nighttime we stay laying in bed in the dark so I don't want to be getting up to walk him, bounce him, etc. that is why I've let him nurse so much. Plus I'm just darned tired and want to SLEEEEEEP!

 

Is there anything I can be doing during the day to help him be sleepier at night? He snoozes pretty much around the clock with some brief awake periods of 10-20 minutes typically and he usually has 2-3 "hard" naps a day where I can leave him on the bed and do other things. It would be nice if that hard sleep was at night instead but he is just all around a sleepy new baby right now, who prefers dozing at the breast. Can't really blame him. :)

 

Okay, rant/vent/question stated. :)

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Old 10-03-2011, 02:47 PM
 
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For the first week or so, it was not unusual for me to sit up in the recliner with a boppy and baby all night.  Or at least, most of the night.  I did whatever it took for me and baby to get some sleep.  You aren't going to teach a baby that young that they are allowed to stay up all night.  Babies sleep when they are comforted and feel safe, secure and at peace...and aren't hurting, like tummy or something.  So, if you have to get up out of bed right now, I don't think you'll be teaching bad habits that can't be fixed in the future.  

 

Your baby is ONLY a week old!  They aren't going to be on our normal routine already as they've had constant feedings 24/7 in the womb for the last 9 months.  All of a sudden, all they have is nursing for their comfort and feedings.  Be gentle with yourself and your baby and just make your days and nights all about them for a while.  Relax and just do what needs to be done for your self and your baby.  The house stuff will still be there next week or next month....whenever you get to it, but that baby has only you and knows only you and needs your arms holding them right now and comforting them.  Sleep when the baby sleeps.  Whether that is day or night. That saying isn't just about the night.  Moms need naps too!  ESPECIALLY at 1 week postpartum!  Most of your days (and nights) should be all about your baby, and nothing else.  Focus on the things that are good, right and lovely about this sweet time with such a new baby.  It is a special time of our lives that we'll never have back! Soak up as much of it as you can and breathe in all of the new baby goodness you can find!  hug2.gif


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Old 10-03-2011, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply. Yes, i realize how new the baby is and all he is trying to do to get used to this big new world. :) Dh and I have talked about that a lot and I do try to look at things from his perspective. My life is also realy about holding him and nursing him, the main other thing is that I have two older kids as well.

 

The stem of my concern is really only that starting next week, I won't be able to take any naps except perhaps in the evening, and I cannot imagine getting through a whole day on 2hours sleep.  I'm trying to avoid coffee for awhile. I guess it has been done though! DH will be working and I will be taking care of my daughter who does not nap and cannot be trusted to not burn the house down while I nap! Ha ha.My DH has been doing a good job of trying to keep up with the housework and I am in no hurry to take that over, believe me.

 

I am enjoying him and the babymoon as much as I can. It's harder because I feel terrible and I'm not really present mentally. I have a cold from being run down, my head hurts, my eyes hurt, my nipples hurt. Believe me, I have a lot of gratitude for all the many blessings in my life. I was just hoping to hear from others going through this at the very least, because it makes me feel a lot better to know we're in this together and we're all surviving together. :)  I think I get this impression in my head sometimes that things are going more smoothly for others so putting in out there to see what others are experiencing is so helpful and comforting.

 

 

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Old 10-03-2011, 04:34 PM
 
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We have our nights & days mixed up...reverse cycling it's called. Good tips if you google that. Has helped to NOT let him nap during daytime, plenty of sun. He finally had one long nap last night, yay. Has shifted constant feeding to evening vs 3am



NAK
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:39 PM
 
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Hmmm.  It does sound like you're in a pretty good place mentally!  Just tired.  hug2.gifDo you have anyone besides your husband helping you at all?  A group of moms or church members that will make dinner occasionally?  Anyone that would take the olders to the park to play for a couple of hours?  Anything like that?

 

This was my 4th kid, so I totally get that it's more difficult than when this is your first babe.  But, I still spent the best part of the first 3 weeks in bed.  Not because I felt bad, just because that was where I belonged.  It's imperative to give your body time to adjust and heal.  I FELT fine physically and had a wonderful easy birth and no tears or anything, so I didn't even have that as an excuse.  redface.gif  Hubby went back to work after the first few days so I spent most of my time having the kids bring me books to read to them and did their homeschooling or interacted with them from my bedroom as best as I could.  I'd turn on something for them to watch and dozed with them all sitting on the bed with me when I just couldn't keep my eyes open anymore.  Hubby would set out cereal on the table, bowls and spoons and put a small cup of milk for each kid in the fridge for them to pour in their cereal for breakfast.  My oldest daughter LOVED making sandwiches for everyone for lunch.  She thought that was the coolest thing ever!  Then dinner was whatever someone brought us or hubby could whip up or had pulled from the freezer before going to work.  That freed up my days to really not have to worry about doing too much.  As my husband would say...."Just keep the kids alive until I get home."  :)

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is.....what can be done ahead of time to make your day easier for you?  Cause not only are you exhausted from having a brand new baby and all the healing your body is doing right now....but the stress of all the other stuff you're talking about with your other kids is going to bog you down as well.  If you're able to approach each day as.....I only have to get through 8 hours (or whatever number) and then hubby will be home and I will have help to do everything else....then maybe that will help take some of the stress off you. And if you know the major things like what they are going to eat and do are taken care of....then I think that will help ease your mind a bit too. 


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Old 10-03-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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That pretty much describes my life with baby perfectly right now! I hear you completely. With the exception that my kids are older and are mostly independent. Baby is a little older and has become much more alert in the last 2 days. And you would think that would allow her to sleep better at night...nope. She is all about the cat naps-milk-cat naps-milk. She is in REM sleep almost all the time rather than the deep "limp limb" sleep of her first two weeks where I had to wake her with wet wipes just to nurse! I found this last night and I thought it was really interesting:

 

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-problems/8-infant-sleep-facts-every-parent-should-know

 

Did I even think of any of this when baby alarm clock went off all night long? Nope. But I take some comfort in knowing that she is developing and living and learning in all that waking. She was up all night, as soon as I tried to put her in the co-sleeper-poof-wide awake-more boob. So I end up falling asleep with her in my arms which leads me to awake constantly to make sure no blankets or pillows have landed on her face. Its quite the balance and Im finding this a pinch harder at 37 than at 22 and 27! or maybe we block out all the hard stuff and only keep the cherished memories in mind. More self preservation...like how we "forget" the pains of labor. We know it hurt, but you cant taste the pain anymore and start saying, well, maybe one more. ;-)

 

Dont feel bad for feeling frustrated. I know its normal. I cant cherish every tiny little second of motherhood. For instance. I told DH it was okay to go get the kids from sports and leave me with dinner on the grill and in the oven. HAHAHAHA! End result? 5 burnt turkey dogs, one turkey dog rolled off the deck, i thought it was a great idea to feed the burnt ones to the dogs..until they puked them up all over the dining room floor (Im a flipping genius) and they proceeded to re-eat them and I didnt even care. I realized the rolls were still frozen so I threw them in the oven with fries. Its amazing how fast things cook at 425, ya know? Yeah, extra crispy rolls with those fries. All in a grand total of 20 minutes. I managed to not kill the burger and the remaining 4 dogs though. But by the time I wrangled all that and miss fuss-fuss, everything was cold. Not tasty. So yeah. Moments like that I just am not going to cherish! But this cute little squirming bundle next to me? Forever. :-)

 

I wish I had some advice for both us. Just take FULL advantage of DH before he goes back to work. Let him do everything humanly possible that he can. Cause when he goes back to work? Yeah. It aint easy but we manage. We have before and we will again. I think tonight Im going to build a mountain of pillows so I can sleep sitting up comfortably with the boppy and feel safe with her in the bed. Lately I have been sleeping so heavy (in between never ending feedings) that I wake up scared she isnt safe. I wish this co-sleeper was getting more use honestly cause I feel safer with her in there, but as soon as I lay her down...wide awake. DH is a restless sleeper and covers and pillows are everywhere. Im hoping with her being awake more today she will sleep better at night. I have a hard time sleeping with someone tweaking on my nipple! Then I wake up all cramped, my neck hurts, my arm is asleep, I have shooting pains in my leg and I think Im going to die from a DVT...yeah, totally fun stuff. lol!!! We can laugh later but I see no harm in whining now. Its not like you or I are first time moms thinking, what the heck was I thinking. We love this. We wanted this! But its hard to appreciate the little joys in life on 2 hours of sleep. Bitch now. Laugh later. I dont see any harm in that.

 

I hope the Dr Sears 8 Sleep Facts shed some light on any questions in your mind. It might now help him sleep but it may appeal to your peace of mind...when your alert. :-)

 


And Baby makes five!!! grouphug.gif +dog2.gif x2!
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:13 PM
 
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You are describing my first week with this little sweetie! Now she sleeps really well at night (I'm sure that'll change, knowing how these babies are!). Personally, I wouldn't let your kid sleep for more than 1.5 hours at a time during the day. That may help him sleep better at night. This too shall pass!

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Old 10-07-2011, 10:19 AM
 
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Same here.. the first 10 days were hell! Almost no sleep... not able to lay down in bed... crazy! After that though it got much better. Part of it was we were cosleeping with our 22 month old AND the newborn and they kept waking each other up. I am so glad it's better now. My husband is in another room with the older baby.

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Old 10-07-2011, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thought I would update since things have gotten better but there seems to have been a real reason for baby's nighttime cluster nursing.  He was continuing to lose weight as he wasn't getting enough milk. We're still working on it and will have another weigh-in either today or tomorrow. He has some wet diapers but hasn't pooped in four days, this mama is a bit worried. :( He looks good though and has good alert periods, doesn't seem lethargic. I do have trouble keeping him awake at the breast so that and the latch are the main things we're working on. I also have really ramped up my diet, adding in lots of good fats from nuts, avocado, fish oil, olive oil, etc and also am having a couple big cups of fenugreek lactation tea each day. The last two days he has been having more deep sleep and far less fussing when he wakes so I think we're headed in the right direction.  I just wish he would poop!!!

 

Just wanted to post this in case it could help someone else. :)

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Old 10-08-2011, 03:02 AM
 
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hug2.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gracecody View Post

Thought I would update since things have gotten better but there seems to have been a real reason for baby's nighttime cluster nursing.  He was continuing to lose weight as he wasn't getting enough milk. We're still working on it and will have another weigh-in either today or tomorrow. He has some wet diapers but hasn't pooped in four days, this mama is a bit worried. :( He looks good though and has good alert periods, doesn't seem lethargic. I do have trouble keeping him awake at the breast so that and the latch are the main things we're working on. I also have really ramped up my diet, adding in lots of good fats from nuts, avocado, fish oil, olive oil, etc and also am having a couple big cups of fenugreek lactation tea each day. The last two days he has been having more deep sleep and far less fussing when he wakes so I think we're headed in the right direction.  I just wish he would poop!!!

 

Just wanted to post this in case it could help someone else. :)



 


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Old 10-09-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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I hear you, Gracecody, and this is my first babe so it is MUCH easier for me. My little one did the same thing for most of the first week. She is now just 1w 2d old, but for the last 2 nights has slept more. I don't know if this would be helpful for you, but what I've done to try and help her sleep more at night is to wake her consistently during the day to nurse (even when she's totally zonked) and then also let her cluster feed in the later evening (which she seems to want to do anyway). This seems to fill her up a little better before we go to bed. I don't know if it's going to last, but she has had 2 nights in a row of sleeping for 3 hr stretches and that extra amount of sleep has helped me feel tremendously better. Best of luck to you!!!

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