If you have a toddler, co-sleep, and still nurse, how're the nights going? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 12-30-2011, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have seen a couple threads recently about sleep, but I'm sending this one out to toddler moms especially.

 

Our wonderful boy is 21 months old.  He had me up from 2:30 until almost 6 this morning.  This is much more than usual, but "usual" is being awakened anywhere from 4-10 times a night.  It's often only briefly to be nursed back to sleep, but it seems that his sleep is getting worse and worse instead of better as he gets older.  It is exhausting and so discouraging.  I don't tell anyone (friends, IL's, etc.) because I don't want to hear about all the remedies to this issue, which usually are stopping co-sleeping (we have 800 square feet of living space, so where else am I gonna put him?) and stopping nursing.

 

Also, my older son (now 16 y.o.) was a terrible sleeper, too, and he didn't sleep with me & exH and weaned at 5 months.  So, the "kick him out of your bed and away from your boob" crowd doesn't hold much water with me.

 

He doesn't have food intolerances and never seems to be in pain when he's awakened, so there go those theories.

 

I've used teething tablets anyway, just to see.  No difference.

 

Well, Extended BFing, co-sleeping mamas, how goes it?


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#2 of 23 Old 12-30-2011, 02:08 PM
 
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My 20 month-old sounds like that too. Not 10 times, but at least 3 times. On a good day.


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#3 of 23 Old 12-30-2011, 02:26 PM
 
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Sounds like my son as well.  He is now 30 months and seems to nurse roughly 2-3 times through out the night, 12ish, 3ish and upon waking. 

 

He has never been a "good sleeper" to what society tends to talk about, 12 hour stints.  I believe that some kids are just not wired to sleep "through out the night". 

 

Two months ago, we honestly tried melatonin with great results.  Our son fights sleep to no end.  It was heartbreaking watching him be so tired and not letting go, even while nursing (I have nursed on demand since birth).  Been talking to our ND/MW since I can remember about this.  Have read all the books on getting a LO to sleep, had a bedtime ritual since I can remember.  No pain, like you describe your LO (except when ill or teething, naturally).  Finally they suggested a week of a seriously low dose melatonin.  I couldn't believe it.  It was like a light went off (or on) and the ritual of bed time came together.  It has been like clock work since then.  Nuts. 

 

Keep on keeping on.  You are doing a great job not "kicking him out of the bed and off the boob".  Cannot stand that mentality. 

 

 

 


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#4 of 23 Old 12-30-2011, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Goldenwillow...I am VERY intrigued.  Could you either post or PM me with details about melatonin?  How much, what dose, what your child looked like before and after?

 

I wonder about Sleepytime tea, also.  I am at my wit's end.

 

edited to correct embarrassing spelling mistake that I'll blame on my sleep deprivation


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#5 of 23 Old 12-31-2011, 11:14 AM
 
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We bought this brand at our co op.  We bought tiny bottle of 25 tabs, like $4.  It was recommended to give him a third of the tablet, gradually smaller, into quarters.  I found that tough to do because it is a small tablet to begin with, winged it. 

 

Gave him the tablet just after bath time, then we read the last book of the day.  Finished the book and it was like clock work... he said "time for sleep".  Started walking upstairs and I followed upon his request.  He was alert, not groggy or stumbling, really himself but actually ready for bed!  Nursed a bit and out, within 10 minutes. 

 

We have tried other remedies to help him with no relief, this did.  It is not documented for long term use in children.  Researchers are leary of penal gland disruption, but that seems to happen over weeks and months of use.  We were comfortable trying it for a week and a half. 

 

Hope this helps!

 

Edited to add....

 

We even went as far as to have an EEG done last summer to be sure he was "ok".  Very positive to have done, piece of mind.  He is very healthy and as his EEG Dr. stated "all things are wired as they should be, he is just a mover!". 

 

 


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#6 of 23 Old 12-31-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

Goldenwillow...I am VERY intrigued.  Could you either post or PM me with details about melatonin?  How much, what dose, what your child looked like before and after?

 

I wonder about Sleepytime tea, also.  I am at my wit's end.

 

edited to correct embarrassing spelling mistake that I'll blame on my sleep deprivation



caedenmomma, I just wanted to let you know our experience with melatonin was not good. Our dd2 is a crappy crappy sleeper and always has been. Her night wakings are frequent and prolonged, and we don't know why. She does sleep in boots and a bar for club feet, but other club feet parents say their kids sleep fine, in fact can't sleep if they get caught without the boots.

 

Anyway, we tried melatonin drops. They are not recommended for littles. But we were (are) desperate. It just didn't work for us. I'd also do some research on dosages before you give it to your guy. We couldn't find much at all since most hcps will say not to give it to kids under a certain weight or age.

 

 

 

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#7 of 23 Old 12-31-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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I don't know if my reply will be of any help. My son is 26 months, and we have had a really great experience bed sharing. He nurses every hour or two throughout the night, but it's not disruptive.

We did experience a change around 22 months though. I found myself staying up with him a hour or two past our bedtime (we all go down at the same time). He'd want to stay in bed and look at books, or sometime get off of the bed.

His naps were changing also. It took a while for a new pattern to emerge.

 

Finally, four months later he is back on track.  His bed time is back to normal (with us) and his naps seem to be normalizing again also. All in all, bed sharing has been one of the best experiences of parenting.

 

For a short while, I needed to rely on the daylight to wake him in the morning......to sort of 'reset' his internal clock.... I would leave the shades up. It kept from sleeping until 9:30am and then napping very late into the day.

 

He does best on about 13 hours sleep per day, and he back to that.

 

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#8 of 23 Old 12-31-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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caedenmomma, I just wanted to let you know our experience with melatonin was not good. Our dd2 is a crappy crappy sleeper and always has been. Her night wakings are frequent and prolonged, and we don't know why. She does sleep in boots and a bar for club feet, but other club feet parents say their kids sleep fine, in fact can't sleep if they get caught without the boots.

 

Anyway, we tried melatonin drops. They are not recommended for littles. But we were (are) desperate. It just didn't work for us. I'd also do some research on dosages before you give it to your guy. We couldn't find much at all since most hcps will say not to give it to kids under a certain weight or age.

 

 

 

 

Buzzer Beater- I am interested in knowing more about your experience, if you are willing to share. 

 

Asiago- we also co sleep but are finding our son is now sleeping better in his own bed next to ours, my husband moves around a bit in his sleep, waking the LO.  Our son usually crawls up in the AM to nurse but is now sleeping longer on his own. 
 

 


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#9 of 23 Old 12-31-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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Buzzer Beater- I am interested in knowing more about your experience, if you are willing to share. 

 

 

 



Well it was really a non-experience. We had a hard time making the call to try melatonin in the first place, and only decided to do it because some friends of ours helped us with the dose. They have a child with Smith-Magenis Syndrome who has been sleep messed up since birth. (the syndrome affects the melatonin cycle.) They told us how much to give (can't remember now) and we tried it over several nights and it simply didn't work. I wouldn't say to people they shouldn't try it if they are aware it's not recommended. But they should know it doesn't work for all kids. I don't know what we would have done if it had worked, I guess try to wean off of it. Our friend's little girl has had it every night for six years now, and she's fine. Otherwise she will sleep in the day.

 

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#10 of 23 Old 12-31-2011, 01:00 PM
 
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Gotcha.  I am glad to hear it is working for her and she is fine. 

 

It was a tough call for us as well.  I am glad we did it though.  It somehow broke through that wall of not allowing himself to simply let go and sleep. 

 

 

 

 


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#11 of 23 Old 01-01-2012, 05:15 PM
 
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I came on here to commisserate on this very subject!  My 20 month old is nursing more than ever, especially at night!  And she seems to want to stay latched on forever and ever, long after she's done drinking milk.  She falls asleep but will wake as soon as I try to unlatch her.  It's maddening!  Is this normal?  People keep telling me to get her out of my bed.  I feel like maybe I've created a monster.  Everyone else I know, their kids sleep.  Mine?  No such luck.  :(  This is by far the most difficult aspect of parenting for me.  I'm not sure I will even have another child because I don't want to go through this again!

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#12 of 23 Old 01-02-2012, 05:48 PM
 
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We are in the same boat with our 26 month old. She's never been easy to get down at night or for naps - she still naps only while nursing in my arms, sleeps with us and wakes up many times per night to "snack." Up for the day between 6 and 7. I have noticed in the last couple of months a slight change, where often when she wakes up at night to nurse she will push me away and roll over once she's ready to sleep again. I take this as a good sign that she's beginning to pull away and edge (slowly) toward independent sleep.

We have been very happy with cosleeping and night nursing for the most part, but after 2+ years of her restlessness, the sleep deprivation is getting to me a little. Eventually we would like to move her to a bed next to ours, and then to her own room, but I keep thinking there will be a "good time" (ie, after she finishes getting her molars, after DH is done with crunch time at work, etc etc) and the time hasn't seemed to come.

 

She is still a very determined nurser as well, not slowing down even a little but seeming to ramp up, and I do have a hunch that when she begins to wean, the sleep situation may improve as well ... but I know weaning will be a battle and I don't want to rush any of it. So, likely I'll continue to be tired for a while.

 

One thing that has helped me a little is that a few months ago, she began allowing DH to take her after she falls asleep with me in the evening (usually between 8 and 9 - we haven't successfully pushed her bedtime earlier no matter how hard we've tried). He can put her down in bed for at least an hour or two usually before she wakes up and wants me, which gives me a very much needed hour or two of grown up time before bed. It's really made the night wakings a lot more bearable.

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#13 of 23 Old 01-02-2012, 07:35 PM
 
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Interesting.

 

My DS goes down between 8:30 and 9 and then is up again usually between 11 and 1. I've got him nightweaned until about 4 or 5 ... but he's still so restless. Sometimes he's waking every hour, sometimes 2 or 3 hrs. (I weaned him during that time b/c the nursing was not really helping him to sleep anyway ...)

 

Often he'll wake and even though I'm there next to him and might rub his back - he'll keep popping up and sitting up, falling back over, sitting up, pulling on me, etc. He just can't seem to turn his brain off. (My husband is EXACTLY like this.) Some nights he'll be restless from say 3-5 am, totally awake from 5 to 6:30 and then sleep till 8 am.

 

I'm intrigued about the melatonin. The only thing that I don't like is the idea that - what - he'd be taking it forever? I know DH would be freaked out about it.

 

I'll tell you ladies one thing; the more I hear, the more I'm convinced that some kids just don't sleep. My friend's 5 month old just started sleeping 7 pm to 7 am. What did she do to encourage it? Nothing. She EBF and had babe in cosleeper. Babe did a few night wakings after she moved to crib in another room. Now she does 12 hours just like that. No sleep solution, no CIO, no plan, nothing. *sigh* We joke that every night she leans over in my direction (we're neighbors) and gives me the finger before she falls asleep.


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Interesting.

 

My DS goes down between 8:30 and 9 and then is up again usually between 11 and 1. I've got him nightweaned until about 4 or 5 ... but he's still so restless. Sometimes he's waking every hour, sometimes 2 or 3 hrs. (I weaned him during that time b/c the nursing was not really helping him to sleep anyway ...)

 

Often he'll wake and even though I'm there next to him and might rub his back - he'll keep popping up and sitting up, falling back over, sitting up, pulling on me, etc. He just can't seem to turn his brain off. (My husband is EXACTLY like this.) Some nights he'll be restless from say 3-5 am, totally awake from 5 to 6:30 and then sleep till 8 am.

 

I'm intrigued about the melatonin. The only thing that I don't like is the idea that - what - he'd be taking it forever? I know DH would be freaked out about it.

 

I'll tell you ladies one thing; the more I hear, the more I'm convinced that some kids just don't sleep. My friend's 5 month old just started sleeping 7 pm to 7 am. What did she do to encourage it? Nothing. She EBF and had babe in cosleeper. Babe did a few night wakings after she moved to crib in another room. Now she does 12 hours just like that. No sleep solution, no CIO, no plan, nothing. *sigh* We joke that every night she leans over in my direction (we're neighbors) and gives me the finger before she falls asleep.



Yes, this exactly. What is this doing to their little brains and bodies if they are not getting restful sleep? We're lucky if dd is in the bed from 9pm until 7am, and so much of that is noisy, rolling, talking, on her knees, mad you're not patting her, mad you're not patting her right, can't find the right position, huff, rolling more etc. It's crazy. She falls asleep at bedtime and naptime fine, it's just staying asleep that isn't happening.

 

 

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I'm intrigued about the melatonin. The only thing that I don't like is the idea that - what - he'd be taking it forever? I know DH would be freaked out about it.

 

We joke that every night she leans over in my direction (we're neighbors) and gives me the finger before she falls asleep.


Our son only took it for about a week and a half and that was it. 

 

lol.gif on the finger.

 


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#16 of 23 Old 01-03-2012, 05:50 PM
 
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I just wrote a very similar type of post in the Family Bed forum.  My 15 month old still gets up at least 2-3 times per night to nurse...but its usually a very quick waking, perhaps only 5 minutes of nursing and then back to sleep.  I am able to break his latch quite easily and he settles right back for another stretch of sleep.  It seems everyone I talk to with infants MUCH younger tell me their children sleep better - but I have never been bothered much by his night waking and feel it is still normal for his age.  My DS#1 was actually a much worse sleeper and at your child's age was typically waking once per hour to nurse.  Often he would also wake for very long stretches (e.g.2-3 hours in the middle of the night) and that was very very hard to deal with when DH and I both had to get up for work in the morning!!  So I guess all I can say is that we are in the same boat here and in a weird way I'm happy to see others going through the same thing because it just shows that our kids are in fact "normal" (as in-laws etc. would have you believe otherwise!!).  I'm completely with you in not wanting to really discuss the whole sleep thing with certain people because all it does is prompt others to give advice that truly is not wanted.  I'm sick of how many times I have heard that my children need to learn to "work it out themselves"...I would rather trade a broken sleep over having my children cry and be distressed at nighttime any day!!!  I think you are doing a great job momma!

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#17 of 23 Old 01-04-2012, 08:52 AM
 
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Wow, I am so happy to see this thread, just because it reminds me that I am not alone in this! My 16-month-old DS has definitely seemed to get worse with his sleep as he has gotten older. Much like the OP, the number of times that DS wakes up varies, but it has been as few as 2 or 3 times (those are some awesome nights! but they happen almost never) and up to ???...I'm not even sure, because I try not to count, but it is ALOT. I used to be able to deal with the nightwakings better because at least he would roll away from me and sleep fairly soundly in between wakings. Now he is super-restless, moving all over to find a comfortable position, or wanting to sleep touching me or with me holding him in some incredibly uncomfortable (for me) position. And he seems to wake up with the slightest movement from me. Right now he is getting 8 teeth (all his first year molars and canines are coming through very slowly), so I think that the restlessness is due to teething, but who knows. No painkillers have changed his sleep habits at all.

 

Right now, I am just trying to get through this teething phase without caving in and nightweaning him earlier than I had hoped....I know that nursing makes him feel better, so I want to let him nurse...it's just that I can no longer sleep while he is nursing. (I used to be able to when he was younger...) But it is hard. I'm getting more and more tired. I hope that I can get some improvement in the next few months....but I've been wishing for that since he was 4 months old! :)

 


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#18 of 23 Old 01-04-2012, 10:42 AM
 
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DS is 17 months. I too was getting super exhausted from the frequent waking. So much so that I was starting to resent our nursing relationship. Since we were at 13 months at the time I had made my nursing "goal" and decided to night wean. We had 3 failed attempts due to teething, croup, &a brush with mastitis because of my pump. Finally managed it at the end of last month. From roughly midnight to 530 he doesn't nurse. This helped me immensely. He is waking less & going back to sleep quicker. He is less likely to get upset when I tell him no to his nursing demands. Last night he nursed fully then got up to play. I let him but did not then let him nurse again to sleep. He had a more difficult time than usual falling asleep but finally did curled up against me. smile.gif

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#19 of 23 Old 01-04-2012, 02:19 PM
 
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My 2.5 y/o still nightnurses and nightwakes frequently (2-5 times usually.)  We've coslept and night nursed since birth.  She is not receptive at all to night weaning and actually gets so upset she gets violent when I've suggested "the nipples are sleeping" or some other thing a friend recommended worked for them.  She day weaned on her own but she makes up for it all night long.  Sometimes I feel so alone, this thread makes me feel better to know I'm not.  I don't know the answer for you but I liked reading this thread.


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#20 of 23 Old 01-25-2012, 09:52 AM
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I also have a frequent night-nurser, he is 27 months.  He wakes to nurse anywhere from 3-6 times a night (more at times).  Lately i have definitely been feeling like I"ve had enough, especially because he wants to stay latched on, often sleeping on top of me while latched and it's literally irritating.

 

after nursing his older sister for three years and now him for a couple years, let's just say my breasts have seen better days!

 

but I was also logging on to say that Nukuspot's profile photo is absolutely incredible!

 

Cheers all!

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#21 of 23 Old 01-25-2012, 05:25 PM
 
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I also have a frequent night-nurser, he is 27 months.  He wakes to nurse anywhere from 3-6 times a night (more at times).  Lately i have definitely been feeling like I"ve had enough, especially because he wants to stay latched on, often sleeping on top of me while latched and it's literally irritating.

 

after nursing his older sister for three years and now him for a couple years, let's just say my breasts have seen better days!


 

We live parallell lives.

 

I have a latched-on chest sleeper too.

I'm so tired. I really want to nightwean but giving in is sooooooo much easier than fighting him 7 times a night. Anyone else want to tackle nightweaning together? I feel like I could manage it with some support. If he's anything like his brother, we'll all be sleeping so much better sans all-night boobie.

 

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#22 of 23 Old 01-26-2012, 12:18 PM
 
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I just posted about this in breastfeeding.  We co-sleep as well.  My 14mth old gets up every 2 hours to nurse at night, and wants to nurse on both sides before he will fall back asleep - usually wanting to still latch.  Its driving me insane - the lack of sleep and the constant flipping back and forth so he can nurse on both sides while laying down.  I feel my only option is to nightwean.  Would you consider nightweaning - you can still nurse during the day.

 

My 1st son was not like this, so I think thats why its driving me mad as well.  My DC1 was a great sleeper from the get go and night weaned himself by 5-6 mths.  He's been sleeping through the night ever since, in his own bed, and he's almost 3.  I wanted to co-sleep with him, but he wanted to be on his own.

 

Crazy how so different my two boys are.


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#23 of 23 Old 01-27-2012, 03:34 AM
 
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MY DD's sleep has always been bad. Part of this was due to food intolerances that took a long time to pin down. But she also experiences teething as tortuous pain. But I work (part time and mostly at home until she was 20 months old and even now I only go to work 3 days a week) and the sleep deprivation was killing me. She woke up every 1-2 hours all night long every night to nurse (even though she had unrestricted access all day!) and sometimes was incredibly restless for long periods. Even when I took some time off from work I was non-functional. So at 13 months, once we figured out her food sensitivities, we did a limited night weaning so that I could get an uninterrupted night of sleep from 11-4. There was some crying the first 3-4 nights, but it was for a minute or two (I was surprised how short it was) and then she would just roll into me for a cuddle or a pat and go back to sleep. This all goes to hell during bad teething periods or colds, but I can handle that. The sustained interrupted sleep was killing me though.

 

I've recently extended it (DD is 25 months) so that we don't nurse from between 11 or 12 (when ever I come to bed) and after 5 am (she usually doesn't wake up until 5:30 or 6 now for a nurse and then goes back to sleep for an hour or two). One thing I do is to dream feed her when I come to bed unless she's woken up on her own near my bedtime. If she woke up and nursed at 9pm, I dream feed her at 11:30, otherwise she will wake up at 3 and want to nurse. Since she seems fine with going 5-7 hours without nursing, the bedtime dream feed has really improved my ability to get a good chunk of unbroken sleep. This I can do, without expecting her to do 11 hours in a row, which seems unreasonable unless it happens on its own.

 

Of course that's all gone to hell now with the 2 year molars coming in, but some nights are still good and I am confident that we'll go back to most nights being good once they are in.

 

good luck mamas. It's hard to be sleep deprived, and while I think you should do what is best for your children, it should not be to deteriment of you. If the sleep deprivation is interfering with your own basic happiness and ability to function in your life (including being a good parent) then it's not a sustainable way of life!


mama to Rassa, born 12/9/09
Tattooed Hand is offline  
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