Sleep issues - just horrible, and I'm scared - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-01-2006, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is going to be long, but I *beg* you to please read and help me if you can...I have been in denial about the sleep issues we've been having because ds1 was the world's worst sleeper and woke up every half hour until he was 2yo. I am fearful that this is happening all over again and I don't know what to do. So bear with me, I'm going to paint the entire picture so maybe it'll click with someone.

I'm also going to cross-post this in a couple of different forums where it might be related.

I'm going on like day 5 of no sleep. Literally no sleep whatsoever. It hasn't just been the last 5 days, it's been progressively getting worse over the last 3 months, and especially bad over the last couple of weeks. It's 3:30 in the morning and Reed is crying in my husband's arms, while DH complains and turns into a complete jerk.

Reed is 5 months old and slept great for the first couple of months. That scenario was the two of us sleeping downstairs in a bed by ourselves, changing a diaper at every awakening, and nursing back to sleep (either side lying or in the boppy). He was extremely gassy (like 100+ farts in a day) and I eliminated dairy and wheat to help him be less so (but still had lots of gas). When I eliminated dairy/wheat he seemed to sleep better.

Then we moved beds to sleep as a family and I added dairy and wheat back in when he was like 2mos and his nightwakings didn't seem to have a pattern like before.

Naps have never been good or regular. He wouldn't let me put him down, so he mostly slept on the boppy on my lap. We're working on that now and I can sometimes get a nap with him away from me on the bed. But it's rarely longer than half an hour.

We also practice Elimination Communication, but he wears diapers at night. He totally wakes up to go potty during the day, so I'm wondering if that could be affecting this in some way too.

He's obviously teething, but no teeth in sight. I've been doing Eat to Live, which is basically eating fruits in the morning, a huge salad with a cup of beans for lunch and stir fry/salad/greens for dinner. It's extremely healthy, but could that be affecting him? It's inherently dairy/wheat free. He is still REALLY gassy.

I've been working on the No-Cry Sleep Solution but it's not helping the nighttime stuff despite it helping with naps.

I honestly don't feel in my mama-gut that this is anything medically-related.

Please help. This is tearing my family apart and I fear I'm going to either have a mental breakdown or get terribly sick. DH leaves next week for a week and I'm scared at to what will happen. What should I do?
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Old 06-01-2006, 10:11 AM
 
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Andrea, a couple of things strike me as I read your post. First of all, do you check his diaper or offer the potty at night when he is fussy? You could try that and see if it helps. Sometimes when DD is really restless at night it is because she is wet or needs to go. DS was like that too. (She is easy however...DS needed to go about five times a night so nighttime EC was a sleep-depriver for me with him.)

The other thing that strikes me is that something may be up with your diet. Disclaimer - I don't know anything about the Eat to Live diet, and I 'm not an expert on this, but we are wheat/dairy-free too for whatever that's worth.

1. It looks like you may be low on protein and possibly complex carbohydrates. A lack of protein can keep you awake because you are just simply hungry. I've had trouble feeling like I'm getting enough protein (and I do eat some meat), and it looks like you may be eating even less than I do. Usually I try to eat eggs at some point during the day, plus things like goat and soy yogurt, nuts - things that have protein as well as magnesium and calcium.

2. Also I have started taking a liquid magnesium/calcium supplement to make sure I get enough. I think if you are nursing you are supposed to take 2-3 times the recommended amount. Magnesium is invaluable to me as a sleep aid. Without it I can start to feel twitchy and achy - maybe that is how he feels?

3. Too many vegetables and fruits can make me and DD gassy. It sounds like you are eating lots, especially at breakfast.

4. Can you eat more complex carbohydrates, like sweet brown rice? I am addicted to that, it is so sticky and yummy and filling even after eating just a little bit. Plus it is higher protein, I think, than regular brown or white rice. Put a little Ume Plum Paste on it I also like to make combos of all different things - for example, last night I made a concoction of amaranth, almonds, pearled barley and french lentils. It was immensely satsifying to eat...

5. Oils? That's another thing that I find calming in my system.

Anyway, DS is calling, hope this helps a little bit?
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Old 06-01-2006, 11:13 AM
 
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Though we have sleep issues, I can't imagine not getting any sleep at all!

It's hard for me to make suggestions, but I have a couple. Ds was a gassy newborn and is still pretty gassy at times, and is sensitive to the discomfort. He often is wakeful when needing to pass gas. I do believe that diet and the breakdown of sugars in their system leads to much of the gas in their GI tract, especially when there's an overload of yeast in their system.

One thing you could try is to lesson the amount of sugar, naturally occuring and especially refined that you eat. It seems that you probably eat very little refined sugar but I wonder if the fruit is just introducing lots of natural sugar into Reed's system and it's part of the cause of the gas.

Taking probiotics might help even out the bacteria in Reed's belly if he does have an over production of yeast, which would definitely add to the gas. I think it would also help to eat more carbs and things like oatmeal to increase the fiber you eat (the fiber would not be passed to him or cause more gassiness). But I'm not sure if you're interested in changing your carb intake, so it's just a thought.

I also find that Simon is a much better sleeper at night (that's relatively speaking, of course ), when he naps better during the day. I'm not sure what would help with that with your little guy, but I find that wearing Simon for naps helps to extend them. He really likes to sleep in a wrap. I also lie down with him when I want him to sleep for at least an hour. He might be on the boob every 10min, but at least he usually has a great nap by the time we're up. I've been making sure he's defintely tired before trying to lie down with him (rubbing eyes, yawning, etc).

I don't know if any of those things will help, but good luck mama!! I really hope you get a much needed rest soon.
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Old 06-01-2006, 11:38 AM
 
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I am so sorry you are going through this. This sounds horrible.

My only advice to you is what DH and I have sworn by. Admit when something isn't working and try something else, even if we were really philosophically into something. For example, I was absolutely no pacifier in the beginning, but DD would nurse in bed all night and wake up with acid reflux. I started giving her a pacifer to suck on and her reflux and spitting up went away.

I had in the bed all night but by the time she was 3 months, she would rotate 45 degrees and lie sideways, kicking me out of bed. I had to move her into a porta crib next to the bed and bring her in at the 6am feeeding. I wanted to family bed it for the long haul but it wasn't working.

Just my personal examples. What are you holding on to that isn't working? What else would you be willing to try? Changing a baby all night sounds disruptive to sleep, but I know that goes against EC. weigh the issue out.


Everyone is giving you diet advice, but what nap strategies could you try? Even if it means wearing or driving ds to sleep for a few hours a day, it would be worth to see if that can help. Focus on the naps, and you better take one when he does if you can!

Do you have a noise machine? We use it to keep her to sleep, not get her to sleep.
Sorry I can't offer more helpful advice.

::: Just another WAHM using this forum to put off picking up toys and cleaning my house.
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Old 06-01-2006, 11:43 AM
 
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Not sure how much help I can offer, Andrea. Drew gets extra gassy when I eat lots of veggies -- especially broccoli. So the veggies *might* be making Reed farty. Also, we co-sleep, but I notice Drew sleeps more soundly and for longer stretches when he's in his co-sleeper and not right next to me. Have you tried a bedside co-sleeper?

One more thing, and this will be a total shot in the dark. I don't EC, so I'm not knowledgable AT ALL in that regard. But, if Reed is nursing more through the night, it prolly means he's peeing more too. Which may mean he's waking up to pee, no? Are you opposed to the paci? Instead of nursing every time for comfort, maybe try the paci once or twice a night to see if that might cut back on the peeing. You can still hold and snuggle while he has the paci, but he wouldn't be getting any breastmilk.

No sleep just sucks arse, no matter what the cause.



ETA... Robin, we posted just about the same time, and some of our advice is similar... great minds!
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Old 06-01-2006, 12:26 PM
 
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Sorry
i've got no help to add, just
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Old 06-01-2006, 12:36 PM
 
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Sorry no advice from me either, but lots of s.

Bethany, mama to M (9), J (7), S (4), and baby BOY 9/13/10!!
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Old 06-01-2006, 01:44 PM
 
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Oh, Andrea, I'm so sorry you're not sleeping. I hope some of these suggestions help.
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Old 06-01-2006, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, mamas. He finally went to sleep around 5am and woke up every hour thereafter until just after 8. I'm going with my husband on a business trip out of town so we can all sleep in the car each way. That'll give me several hours of sleep and my MIL can watch the boys while we're there. I'll be back later tonight and will post more in response to your responses.

This is just really getting to me and I've been trying to pretend that we weren't going down the same road as with Carter, but I fear we are.

Breathe...
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:03 PM
 
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I just wanted to offer s too. I'm in the midst of figuring out what it is that DS really needs to get good sleep but nothing like what you're doing. It's such a kick in the shins that with babies, bad sleep begets worse sleep! One hour at a time, mamma.
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:13 PM
 
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Oh that sounds awful I remember all too well the bad bad sleep deprivation where I was completely non functional and actually starting to hallucinate, but with us it was bc Amalie didn't nurse well at first and was never full enough to sleep. I don't have any advice for you but and I really hope you get it all figured out ASAP!
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:24 PM
 
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Oh, Andrea, I am soooooo sorry!

My first guess is it's the gas. Whenever Will is gassy, he gets uber-fussy, won't nap, and doesn't sleep well at night, waking often. Once the gas goes away, however, he sleeps like an angel. (And he's never even approached 100farts a day; I just can't imagine what he'd be like even gassier than he was.)

Gas is almost always a sign that something is out-of-whack in the gut, be it yours or his. While the foods you are eating are definitely healthy, they may not be the right proportions or combinations for you or Reed.

I know there are a million theories out there on good nutrition, and it can be overwhelming, but an excellent resource I've found that focuses on the health of the gut is the book Nourishing Traditions. It calls itself a cookbook, but it's much more accurate to call it a scientific encyclopedia of excellent nutritional advice that happens to have recipes in it, too. It focuses on digestion and assimilation, and restoring the healthy flora of the intestinal tract.

It is those few times that I have strayed from the principles of the book that Will has become gassy. When I return, the gas dissipates. The change in his disposition and sleep cycles is dramatic.

to you. I hope you are able to sort through all the loving advice and suggestions to find what works for the two of you, and that lots of healthy, revitalizing sleep is in your very near future!!!
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Old 06-01-2006, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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okay, i've got a few minutes while Reed is sleeping to respond. First of all, thank you so much for the help ladies. You really are friends. I'm going to do a guerilla-like assault in trying out every possible solution so hopefully I can get some sleep tonight. Until things get resolved, DH and I will sleep separately (me with Reed) and I will nap during every possible moment during the day, and DH gets baby duty after 5am.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minoh
I do believe that diet and the breakdown of sugars in their system leads to much of the gas in their GI tract, especially when there's an overload of yeast in their system.

One thing you could try is to lesson the amount of sugar, naturally occuring and especially refined that you eat. It seems that you probably eat very little refined sugar but I wonder if the fruit is just introducing lots of natural sugar into Reed's system and it's part of the cause of the gas.

Taking probiotics might help even out the bacteria in Reed's belly if he does have an over production of yeast, which would definitely add to the gas. I think it would also help to eat more carbs and things like oatmeal to increase the fiber you eat (the fiber would not be passed to him or cause more gassiness). But I'm not sure if you're interested in changing your carb intake, so it's just a thought.

I also find that Simon is a much better sleeper at night (that's relatively speaking, of course ), when he naps better during the day. I'm not sure what would help with that with your little guy, but I find that wearing Simon for naps helps to extend them. He really likes to sleep in a wrap. I also lie down with him when I want him to sleep for at least an hour. He might be on the boob every 10min, but at least he usually has a great nap by the time we're up. I've been making sure he's defintely tired before trying to lie down with him (rubbing eyes, yawning, etc).

I don't know if any of those things will help, but good luck mama!! I really hope you get a much needed rest soon.
Great ideas! Thank you! I realized that in my sleep-deprived post at 3:30 this morning I forgot to mention that I do eat steel cut oats and rice almost every day. In addition, I do eat some meat too, so both carbs and protein are higher than they appeared in my original post.

I used to take probiotics daily (amazing stuff, I tell ya) and will have to start again. I have a yogurt maker that I received a couple of days before Reed was born, but then lo and behold, he seemed to respond to dairy so I haven't been able to use it.

Yep, we're working constantly on improving naps. They got better about a week ago, but then the last few days have been no more than half an hour at a time. It's so hard to keep him asleep with a 4yo brother.
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Old 06-01-2006, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiralmg
Andrea, a couple of things strike me as I read your post. First of all, do you check his diaper or offer the potty at night when he is fussy? You could try that and see if it helps. Sometimes when DD is really restless at night it is because she is wet or needs to go. DS was like that too. (She is easy however...DS needed to go about five times a night so nighttime EC was a sleep-depriver for me with him.)

The other thing that strikes me is that something may be up with your diet. Disclaimer - I don't know anything about the Eat to Live diet, and I 'm not an expert on this, but we are wheat/dairy-free too for whatever that's worth.

1. It looks like you may be low on protein and possibly complex carbohydrates. A lack of protein can keep you awake because you are just simply hungry. I've had trouble feeling like I'm getting enough protein (and I do eat some meat), and it looks like you may be eating even less than I do. Usually I try to eat eggs at some point during the day, plus things like goat and soy yogurt, nuts - things that have protein as well as magnesium and calcium.

2. Also I have started taking a liquid magnesium/calcium supplement to make sure I get enough. I think if you are nursing you are supposed to take 2-3 times the recommended amount. Magnesium is invaluable to me as a sleep aid. Without it I can start to feel twitchy and achy - maybe that is how he feels?

3. Too many vegetables and fruits can make me and DD gassy. It sounds like you are eating lots, especially at breakfast.

4. Can you eat more complex carbohydrates, like sweet brown rice? I am addicted to that, it is so sticky and yummy and filling even after eating just a little bit. Plus it is higher protein, I think, than regular brown or white rice. Put a little Ume Plum Paste on it I also like to make combos of all different things - for example, last night I made a concoction of amaranth, almonds, pearled barley and french lentils. It was immensely satsifying to eat...

5. Oils? That's another thing that I find calming in my system.

Anyway, DS is calling, hope this helps a little bit?
Thanks, Linda. I definitely check his diaper every time he wakes up and it's often dry. He's not really fussy when he wakes up, he's just awake and happy. Which is what totally confuses me. I think I'm going to start nighttime EC'ing, but he just hates going potty when he's just woken up. We'll keep trying though.

See my post above about my diet. I eat more than I posted last night.

I'll definitely try the mag/calcium supplements. I already have a good one at home.
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Old 06-01-2006, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmasbaby7
I am so sorry you are going through this. This sounds horrible.

My only advice to you is what DH and I have sworn by. Admit when something isn't working and try something else, even if we were really philosophically into something. For example, I was absolutely no pacifier in the beginning, but DD would nurse in bed all night and wake up with acid reflux. I started giving her a pacifer to suck on and her reflux and spitting up went away.

I had in the bed all night but by the time she was 3 months, she would rotate 45 degrees and lie sideways, kicking me out of bed. I had to move her into a porta crib next to the bed and bring her in at the 6am feeeding. I wanted to family bed it for the long haul but it wasn't working.

Just my personal examples. What are you holding on to that isn't working? What else would you be willing to try? Changing a baby all night sounds disruptive to sleep, but I know that goes against EC. weigh the issue out.


Everyone is giving you diet advice, but what nap strategies could you try? Even if it means wearing or driving ds to sleep for a few hours a day, it would be worth to see if that can help. Focus on the naps, and you better take one when he does if you can!

Do you have a noise machine? We use it to keep her to sleep, not get her to sleep.
Sorry I can't offer more helpful advice.
Yep, we use a noise machine and I am going to try and put Reed in a little bed next to ours. Hopefully that'll help out a little.
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Old 06-01-2006, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amygoforth
One more thing, and this will be a total shot in the dark. I don't EC, so I'm not knowledgable AT ALL in that regard. But, if Reed is nursing more through the night, it prolly means he's peeing more too. Which may mean he's waking up to pee, no? Are you opposed to the paci? Instead of nursing every time for comfort, maybe try the paci once or twice a night to see if that might cut back on the peeing. You can still hold and snuggle while he has the paci, but he wouldn't be getting any breastmilk.
Does anyone know if an older baby will take a paci? What kind do I buy? I know nothing about pacis whatsoever.
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Old 06-01-2006, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allnaturalmama
Oh, Andrea, I am soooooo sorry!

My first guess is it's the gas. Whenever Will is gassy, he gets uber-fussy, won't nap, and doesn't sleep well at night, waking often. Once the gas goes away, however, he sleeps like an angel. (And he's never even approached 100farts a day; I just can't imagine what he'd be like even gassier than he was.)

Gas is almost always a sign that something is out-of-whack in the gut, be it yours or his. While the foods you are eating are definitely healthy, they may not be the right proportions or combinations for you or Reed.

I know there are a million theories out there on good nutrition, and it can be overwhelming, but an excellent resource I've found that focuses on the health of the gut is the book Nourishing Traditions. It calls itself a cookbook, but it's much more accurate to call it a scientific encyclopedia of excellent nutritional advice that happens to have recipes in it, too. It focuses on digestion and assimilation, and restoring the healthy flora of the intestinal tract.

It is those few times that I have strayed from the principles of the book that Will has become gassy. When I return, the gas dissipates. The change in his disposition and sleep cycles is dramatic.

to you. I hope you are able to sort through all the loving advice and suggestions to find what works for the two of you, and that lots of healthy, revitalizing sleep is in your very near future!!!
aha! So this is where your amazing super-mom cook comes in! I have a very close friend who sounded just like you, and she does Nourishing Traditions as well. In fact she's a chapter leader. So after reading your post, I called her and we're going to talk tomorrow (we were going to our local organic farm to hang out together already, so it's perfect timing).

Could you direct me to some online resources that explain the gist of NT? Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2006, 10:39 PM
 
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Weird, I just bought that book because it sounded like what I was looking for when browsing Amazon. It just came today and I plan(ned) to make something for dinner out of it.
I'd be interested in learning more about it too.
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Old 06-02-2006, 12:27 AM
 
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http://www.westonaprice.org/index.html

That'll keep ya busy for a while!

Andrea, that's so neat that you have a NT friend. I hope your meeting tomorrow will be comforting and helpful.

Shana, talk about coincidence! Which recipe were you planning on trying?
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allnaturalmama
Oan excellent resource I've found that focuses on the health of the gut is the book Nourishing Traditions. It calls itself a cookbook, but it's much more accurate to call it a scientific encyclopedia of excellent nutritional advice that happens to have recipes in it, too. It focuses on digestion and assimilation, and restoring the healthy flora of the intestinal tract.

It is those few times that I have strayed from the principles of the book that Will has become gassy.
Jen, I love this book too! I should go back and get into it again. The only thing I've had bad luck with in it is feeding my DS runny eggs as one of his first foods. That was a real disaster!!! Also, we can't get raw milk around here (in the city) so I started using low-pasteurized milk, but then DS got food poisoning from that very milk - not the milk's fault, I should add, as I left the refrigerator door open - and for various other reasons we ended up going off milk altogether. But I love her approach and would love to adopt it more for myself in the future.

Andrea, another thing I wanted to add about nighttime EC. If he is really protesting it, it might not be a good idea. You have to balance the possibility of the discomfort keeping him fussy vs. the problem of potentially waking him all the way up and making him more fussy. I had some problems with DS like this, and I found that nursing him through the pee made it much more palatable and often he wouldn't even wake up at all. After he peed, he was much more peaceful.
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so last night reed slept from 10pm-3am straight! then woke up again at 5:45, 6:45, and 8!!! this was the best night's sleep since he was a newborn. i am hoping those sleepless nights were just teething. he's been doing better the last few nights before that, usually waking every hour, but at least he's sleeping! woo hooo!!!
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:41 PM
 
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Yay! I'm so glad things are going better. Hopefully you are 'over the hump' now!
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Old 06-06-2006, 06:34 PM
 
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Wow, that's wonderful!! Did you try something new or did things improve on their own?

It's interesting how quickly their sleep patterns can change!
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:32 PM
 
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I'm sooooo glad to hear Reed and sleep finally found each other!

Here's hoping he keeps it up and you can start making up that horrible deficit.

BTW, did you ever get together with your NT friend? How'd it go?
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Old 06-06-2006, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yah, i'm not sure we're out of the woods entirely. but it's definitely improved. we didn't do anything in particular so i think it was just a nasty growth spurt week. crossing my fingers that this continues...

jen, yep i met with her but didn't get to talk for long (fussy babies). i agree with some of it, and the food is delicious, but since it goes against so much of what we've been raised to believe, i really have to sit down and talk to her more. i think i can get into the raw dairy/fermented foods no problem, but it's the amount/type of meat that is hard for me to get over. i agree with the principle, but just want to learn more. if you would ever like to share your personal story i'd love to hear it!
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