If your baby was/is like this, what would you do? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 07-05-2003, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All! I am hoping you wise mommies can help me a bit.

My dd is 7 months old now.
She has co-slept pretty much all her life-for the first 3 months she slept great in her car seat by our bed (4 hr stretches).

After 3 months, she started waking frequently (every 2 hrs) and wanted to sleep in the bed.

To get her to sleep, I do bedtime routine and then put her in the sling. Lately she has been falling asleep really quickly. I then transfer her to her baby hammock where she sleeps for exactly 1/2 hr. I then go to her and put her back in sling and repeat until I go to bed. Some nights she will sleep for a couple of hrs in the hammock before waking-I bring her to bed and she wakes every 2 hrs to eat briefly and usually go back to sleep.

She is very restless most of the night, tossing and turning but not crying.

For her naps, I do the same sling routine and transfer to hammock. She is now pretty consistantly sleeping for 1 1/2 hrs in the morning, 1 hr in the afternoon and 1/2 hr in early evening.

So, what is the problem? All those wakings at night are making it impossible for me to get a good rest. DH can't really help in the current set up because 1)he is sleeping in the guest room (too hard for me to sleep at all with both of them in our queen) and 2) she just wants me to nurse her when she wakes.

I really don't believe in CIO. But I don't know how to stop this. I am frustrated that I am the only person who can get her to bed and care for her all night.

I HAVE read Pantley, Gordon etc. I end up giving in and nursing her because I am too tired to do anything else!

She is not really eating much solid food yet. She is growing normally, but has a lot of gas.

I am sorry this is SO long.

I guess I just want some reassurance that she is normal and not anything wrong with her, and maybe some ideas as to how to get her to sleep longer....the naps alone in the hammock by the way are a HUGE and recent improvement-so we are having some progress!

thanks so much to anyone who is still reading!
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#2 of 14 Old 07-05-2003, 10:28 PM
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My ds still nurses quite a bit a night. I haven't really minded it though, I sleep just fine despite that. I personally love the closeness of sleeping next to my babe, and if he wants to nurse I'l help him latch on and I fall quickly back to sleep. But as far as I know, sure it's normal. Every baby is different of course, but I've heard lots of mamas say their EBF babe nurses a few times a night still (every 2-3 hours). If you find yourself tired during the day, take a nap while your baby does...even 15-20 minutes will do you good.


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#3 of 14 Old 07-05-2003, 11:42 PM
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Can you keep baby in bed with you all night instead of transferring her back and forth? Or did I read that wrong and you only do that for naps? I wasn't sure what you meant.

Anyway, my ds is almost 11 mos. old and still wakes frequently during the night. He lays right next to me- belly-to-belly. If he wakes, all I do is help latch him on and drift back off to sleep. I also flip from side-to-side during the night to offer different breasts.

For me that works most of the time and I get a restful night of sleep because I am really only partially waking. I drift back off to sleep so fast that it really doesn't make me feel unrested in the morning.

However, that isn't the case for everyone. Co-sleeping isn't for every parent and it isn't for every baby. I know some babies that aren't happy with co-sleeping!

Could your DH take some of the night wakings? Perhaps every other waking he could resettle and put the baby back to sleep?

I wish I had more advice for you. Good for you for getting naps more established! Naps are hard on us. My ds is almost 11 mos. old and he still will only nap on me or my DH. It is hard because I watch a 4 mos. old baby in my home and it can be hectic when I finally get them to sleep and the 4 mos. old wakes up, which means that my DS has to wake up so I can tend to the 4 mos. old!

What is the "hammock"??? Does it help co-sleeping babies sleep?
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#4 of 14 Old 07-05-2003, 11:54 PM
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I HAVE read Pantley, Gordon etc. I end up giving in and nursing her because I am too tired to do anything else!
I haven't read these-- but what is wrong with "giving in and nursing her?" Is it because you're too tired, or you can't sleep with her in your bed? I nurse most of the night in my sleep. I'm sorry if I'm being obtuse, but can you not cosleep/nurse in bed?
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#5 of 14 Old 07-06-2003, 02:47 AM
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You are doing such a great job for her.
My dd is the same way at 6.5 mos. I wish I had a hammock.
She sleeps in the sling and I have to carry her and she is almost 19 lbs now!
I have also read Pantley. My dd has a routine and goes to bed around 7pm. Then she wakes up every 30-60 minutes all evening untill I go to bed with her. Then she wakes up 3-4 times a night just to latch on and nurse to sleep again untill about 6-7 am, when she's up for the day. I sleep w/her and dh sleeps by himself b/c he snores and wakes us up even more.
She is starting to nap once in the am now and once in the afternoon, and maybe once around 5pm for 30 mins sometimes. Very similar to your baby.

I keep hearing that it does get better eventually! I also think that in the long run we will be happy that we didn't let her CIO because we are giving her positive sleep associations, and nursing frequently at night won't last forever.
Hang in there acugirl - I'm with ya!
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#6 of 14 Old 07-06-2003, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, yeah, I do nurse her lying down in bed, but for me, even just latching her on every 2 hrs wakes me up and it is hard for me to get a good solid sleep.

Co sleeping is ok, but not a wonderful thing for me...I just somehow don't sleep very well. That is why I am introducing the hammock.. (www.babyhammocks.com) for those who asked.

I know I will be glad I didn't do CIO-it is just such a harsh way to treat a baby, I think! I just feel like if she wants to nurse every 2 hrs until she is 2 yrs old-I will be REALLY tired of it!

Anyway, last night I put her back in the hammock at 2AM because she was really restless next to me and she slept til 5:40! so I feel like there is hope and I know she can go more than 2 hrs without eating!
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#7 of 14 Old 07-06-2003, 10:28 AM
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i've considered CIO...and am close to that option as many others haven't worked for us.

my key concern is that so we let her CIO and then she cries herself to sleep several days in a row. I don't think it really solves the problem of not being able to "let go" enough to fall asleep. Nor does it really solve the problem of night waking.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#8 of 14 Old 07-06-2003, 05:21 PM
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My first child needed his own space. If he was in my bed, or around me he would wake every couple hours to feed and return to sleep. He woke at every little sound and it was miserable. when I moved him into his own bed, he began sleeping eight hour stretches. He would fuss for about 2-5 minutes a night for the first couple weeks (and I do mean fuss, not cry or scream) and he would fall asleep. He would also typically awaken once a night that I would hear him, moan for a couple minutes, then fall back to sleep. At first I went in there, but I soon realize that he wasn't fully awake and would put himself down to sleep.

I had a friend who co slept for the first six months then moved her child to her own room. She had been a two hour max sleeper, but that first night in her own room she slept nine hours, and never looked back in the nights to come.

Now, my second child was the anti-sleep. He woke up every two hours (or more) every night until he was 15 months and I night weaned him. At seven months I put him in his own room so I could at least get decent sleep between the wakings (because I wasn't getting any sleep with him in the bed with me.) At 15 months I night weaned him from 11:00pm to 5:00 am (or sun up as the case may be). It took a few weeks, and I held him in a chair instead of nursing him -- he never cried alone in his bed. About a month after I began nightweaning he began sleeping from 11:00 to around 4:00 or 5:00am. Then all the sudden at 20 months he began sleeping through the night. All in all, his sleep (or my sleep) patterns ended in my body triggering late onset PPD and me ending up in the hospital several months later due to a sequence of events and a bad doctor.

It is so easy to tell moms that our children will grow out of it, but it is sheer hell for a mom who never gets even three hours of sleep in a row. Not all of us are able to sleep while nursing -- I wish I was. Sleep deprivation ravages an adult body. While I am in no way suggeting that you resort to the CIO method, I do think that you need to find a happy medium that works for your family. Perhaps try moving your baby to a crib in another room for a few weeks and see if you both can get more sleep that way. Perhaps she will be one of those kids who prefers sleeping alone. You could always try having your dh sleep with the baby and you sleep in another room. Without the smell of milk right beside her, maybe she would be content to sleep longer nestled next to a warm body that didn't provide snacks.

Co-sleeping is wonderful, but there are some people for whom it doesn't work. I can sleep with a baby, but by 6 months I just can't do it anymore. By doing what you can to get more sleep, you are also enabling yourself to be a better mother. That benefits you both.
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#9 of 14 Old 07-06-2003, 10:42 PM
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My ds was an all-night nurser. We didn't even get 2 hours of consecutive sleep until much later. At about that age he was doing most of his nursing at night, but he did grow out of it eventually (yes I know not what you want to hear). What did help me was to know how common it was.

There seems to be many common reasons why babies this age wake to nurse often. They include:

- most babies are learning and doing so much at that age that they don't nurse as much during the day and make up the extra calories at night.
- being more distracted during the day makes many babies feel less "connected" with mama during the day and they need to make up that much needed closeness to mom at night. It just takes time to find the balance between need for mom and need to learn and explore. These things tend to resolve themselves quicker when left alone, although of course every baby is different. I don't know if this is what your babe is going through, but it might be something to consider.
- many people find their babies go through periods of nightwaking right before accomplishing a new milestone. Just like an adult might be restless or feel like their "mind is racing" before a big event an infant can feel the same.
-starting solids. This can increase night waking either because of reactions to a particular food or because the feeling of digesting food is a new, and sometimes uncomfortable sensation. What makes a baby feel better when something feels not-so-good? Nursing of course!

Of course there are many, many more reasons, but my tired brain can't think of them all :P It is normal for a child's sleep pattern to change many, many times in the first years of life. Every stage will have its own challenges. As the mother of a non-sleeper what I found helpful was to make a mental list of all the reasons ds may have been waking. Usually one would just stand out, and immediately I would know "that's it!". Having an idea of what could be causing the problem would give me an idea of where to start. Good luck, and I hope you're sleeping better soon


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#10 of 14 Old 07-07-2003, 02:15 AM
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The same thing happened with both of my kids around the same age. It turned out they were teething. Once I gave them something for the pain, they slept much better It lasted a few weeks overall, from what I remember.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#11 of 14 Old 07-12-2003, 03:50 PM
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Six months is also a time for a huge growth spurt. If she's gassy, that only adds to the problem, my dd was like that. You can try homeopathic remedies for both teething and gas.

She needs to nurse every couple of hours, and yes, it is very difficult to see through these times as just a phase, but I've done it four times, and you can get through it too. What helped a lot was taking naps during the day, I became very lazy about my housework, and dh doesn't care so much anyway. Things of priority got done, but not general straightening, kwim? You cannot make a baby fit your schedule, you have to figure out a way to adjust yours. That sounds harsh, and I don't mean to be, I'm just sharing what I have learned raising four kids. Trust me, I have had only a handful of nights when I slept more than 5 hrs straight in 10 years, so it can be done without losing your mind (well, not completely anyway ) It is hard at the beginning to doze back off after waking to nurse, but you can learn to, out of necessity if nothing else. Your sleep patterns will change, and your body will figure out how to make do with those short spurts when you can sleep.

Other things you can try...
...rubbing her belly after nursing to help the stomach and intestines do their jobs
...take a couple of days off to do nothing but nurse all day, hang out in bed and just play, etc... hopefully this will help her eat more during the day and then she won't need as much at night.
...don't introduce any new foods for a while, let her body get accustomed to the ones you have already introduced

take care of yourself, mama
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#12 of 14 Old 07-12-2003, 10:51 PM
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The frequent waking/nursing sounds very very normal/typical.
I coslept w/ my son from birth, and he woke every few hrs to nurse until he was about 14 mo old... then like magic he started sleeping all through the night.
Now he sleeps in his own bed (he is about 30 mo) but wakes almost every night and crawls in w/ us at some point...
I think most babies wake often, it seems more rare to find ones who sleep all through the night.
Although it can be tiring to wake & nurse a few x a night, its easier to do if baby is in bed w/ you...
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#13 of 14 Old 07-13-2003, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all of your support!

Mia seems to be settling into a much more predictable sleep pattern-3 naps of 1-2 hrs each and bed by 8:30.

She is sleeping 3 1/2 hr stretches sometimes now-SO much better.

2 days ago I noticed two little teeth poking through-so I think some of it was teething pain. Also, could have been growth spurt-long lasting! All the books make it seem like growth spurts only interupt things for a few days, but she seems to be more affected by them.

Thanks so much for all the support! I really feel good about sticking to my guns and giving her what she needs at night. It is hard on me at times, but so rewarding to see how happy and content she is.
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#14 of 14 Old 07-13-2003, 10:15 PM
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i agree all kids are different. my dd1 and dd2 co-slept/nursed until 4 mos and then slept in their cribs in another room from 4mos-2yo. around that age, they have started co-sleeping again half the time and sleeping on their own the other half (nothing like musical beds!)

dd3 has just started sleeping on her own all night (12 hour stretches) in a crib at 7mos.

both dd2 and dd3 sleep better on their own and are just as Jish described her first. they would fuss/cry for the first 2-3 minutes b4 sleep and will sometimes awake in the middle of the night and fuss/cry for 2-3 minutes but then put themselves back to sleep. both sleep restlessly w/me and nursed a lot when co-sleeping though they didn't seem to miss nursing when they slept on their own (out of sight, out of mind?)

it's hard to "CIO" in arms or even that 2-3 minutes of fussing when you know a boob in the mouth will do the trick, but for me i am confident it was the right parenting decision and it wasn't the same as traditional CIO to me. some might call it rationalizing on my part, but my kids (dd2 and 3) really needed to get that "fussing" out b4 they were ready for sleep and they sleep so much better on their own then co-sleeping and i LIKED cosleeping so i was glad at least my dd1 from 2-4yo was up for it even when my babes weren't.

hugs to you! and too!

WOHM married to SAHD, living the dream w/our: 3 girls (14,12,10) and 3 boys (7,5,3) and tie-breaker due Jan 2014

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