I'm new here - you keep me going as I fall apart. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 02-02-2010, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been reading posts here for a few weeks now. It is all that keeps me going sometimes. A bit about me: I am a married mom of a 16 month old boy who literally has never slept much at all and it keeps getting worse and worse. We are no longer nursing and we don't co-sleep so I hope you can accept me here - I embrace all ways of parenting except CIO, which is why I am here.

My DS gets up about 4 times per night and at each waking, cries for an hour or more as I hold him and rock him. It has always been this way but has been getting worse and worse. It now takes longer and longer to get him to sleep. It's as if he just can't fall asleep. He has never been one to get drowsy - I read a post here about that. I have to put him down completely asleep or we have to start the whole process over again.

It's taking such a toll on me and DH and I truly worry about the well being of DS when he is only getting 6 hours of sleep per night. I convinced our ped to refer me to a sleep specialist because I want to be sure that nothing is physically wrong. I wanted to have a sleep study done because he just seems uncomfortable. The lunatic neurologist launched an all out attack on me and said this is all my fault - that I need to put DS in his crib at bedtime and not go back to morning!! I just started crying in her office and left with my mouth open. What kind of professional is giving this advice to ANYONE? I was so holding out hope for some insight into what could be going on. Am I nuts for thinking anything is wrong?

I just feel so alone. I find myself getting so frustrated at night. Everyone tries to tell me that CIO is the only way to get DS to sleep and I just refuse to believe that. Even DH is starting to believe that and I need him to be on the same page as me. I can't and won't let DS cry alone. The problem is that I have a full-time, out of the home job. I am so tired and feel so alone. There is no one in my life who is supporting me in my decision. Which is why I come here. Thanks for letting me vent. I read all of your posts and they keep me moving forward.
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#2 of 9 Old 02-02-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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First things first. That neurologist was WRONG and cruel to berate you, an exhausted parent trying to help her child.

My oldest child has not slept through the night since the day she was born. That is not an exaggeration. We co sleep, but now are trying to shift to the 'big girl bed.' No bueno.

Have you or your doctor noticed any ear problems, food sensitivities, or allergies that might be a problem? After 2 and a half years of no sleep, we had our daughter tested to see if there were any allergy issues. When that came to naught, we had to start from the beginning. Night light, then no light, music, no music, etc. One thing we have noticed is that she is extremely sensitive to noise. She sleeps better if we wear her out during the day, but that's not a guarantee either. Does your son nap at all? Is there any way that you and your DH can sleep in shifts?

I feel for you, because I know how it snowballs. No sleep, no energy, sadness, and all the unpleasant stuff that goes with it. Please get another neurologist to do the sleep study, and stick to your guns!

Mom to two lovely girls, 4 and 3. SAHW/M in need of sleep.
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#3 of 9 Old 02-02-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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First of all I want to say that you are not alone. Reading all of our posts must show you that many moms/families suffer from sleepless nights and hard times. Nightime parenting is not for the faint of heart You are doing a great job by following your insticts...don't ever let anyone tell you to let your child cry. I agree with the pp and would rule out anything medical..get allergy testing and make sure there are no ear infections etc going on. I would suggest a very consistent nap and bedtime routine. Make evening as peaceful and relaxing as possible. Try low lights, warm quiet bath, soothing "sleep" cd, calming essential oils and snuggles. Same time everynight. Make sure bedtime is early and take time out to make sure you approach nightime calmly.They can feed off our anxiety. You will get through this just hang in there. I always like to remind myself that there are many oher mamas awake at the exact same time I am with their lo....it feels good to know you are not alone. hth
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#4 of 9 Old 02-02-2010, 09:34 PM
 
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mama. We are pretty sleep deprived here too, my 17 month old still wakes up every hour or so all night and has a hard time getting back to sleep. On a good night we'll get some 2 hours stretches, and he will go back to sleep with a quick nursing, but those nights are few and far between. Teething really seems to affect my DS a lot. That could be part of your DS's issue.

I, like you, think something must be wrong for him to be waking so much and seem uncomfortable. We are looking into allergies (again.. this will be our second time going through this) and doing whatever makes it easier on ourselves.

Here are a few things that have made the sleep deprivation bearable for us--

*Bed-sharing and nursing laying down through the night (if you don't want to cosleep, you could put a mattress on the floor in your room for your DS so he is close and you don't have to do as much getting up.. does he take a paci? could he be hungry/thirsty when he wakes?)
*Blackout curtains and white-noise
*DH takes DS in the morning while he is getting ready for work so I can get an extra 30-60 minutes of sleep each morning
*DH takes DS out on a date every Saturday morning for 3-4 hours and I can catch up on sleep
*Keeping a consinsent routine each day (more of an order to the day, not a strict schedule by the clock)

I recommend reading the books "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and "Sleepless in America." Both are great sleep resources, without the CIO, and give helpful tips to help your child sleep while still meeting his needs.

A few other things to throw out there--

Does your son show any signs of reflux or allergies? Have you taken him to a chiropracter or chraniosacral therapist? How are his ears? Have you tried homeopathic teething remedies? Is he getting enough nutrients throughout the day, eathing a wide variety of solids since he is not nursing?

I hope you can find some ways to feel more rested soon.

Catie belly.gif- Happy wife to Aaron stillheart.gif(01.05), mama to Liambikenew.gif(08.08), and Ian jammin.gif (11.10)! homebirth.jpgnocirc.giffamilybed1.gif and joy.gif due Feb 2013 with blessing #3!

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#5 of 9 Old 02-03-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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Not much to add to all this great advice. Do check out all possible "medical" causes then start trying different things to see if anything makes a difference (early bedtime/ late bedtime, fewer naps/ more naps etc etc etc). You may have tried everything - like I have. If so, it really comes down to managing YOUR sleep deprivation. What time do you and your DH leave for work? Can you squeeze out an extra 30-60 mins where he takes your ds and you can sleep? Or how about when you're both back in the evening? At the very least carve out time at the weekend to sleep and try and replenish your reserves for the upcoming week. Truly everything else can wait, you have to prioritize sleep.

Hang in there. We're seeing some improvements. I really don't know what to attribute them to. We have night weaned but it didn't make an immediate difference and have dropped to one nap so he's exhausted by bedtime. He's also sleeping in a side carred crib for the first part of the night, which is our longest stretch.

Hugs.

babyboy.gif: 01/10/2009 and 09/29/2011

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#6 of 9 Old 02-04-2010, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the kind words. We have definitely tried a number of these things, but I just ordered black out curtains and started playing lullabies in his room again. I guess you have to keep trying and trying for improvement. Last night, he woke 6 or 7 times and usually only slept for 45 minutes at a time. I get so disappointed in myself when I get angry during the night, but I suppose this happens some times and I have to move on.

It's funny - I often try to bring him into our bed but this just makes him angry. He really does not want to be in our bed. I tried again last night but he really came undone. I just assume that most babies like to cuddle or be close to their parents but maybe not all. He sure is a unique little guy in many ways!

I think my guy is especially sensitive to teething. His top molars are in but the bottoms have been causing swelling for a while now but have not popped out yet. I have been using Hylands teething tablets regularly so I hope that does help.

I have the NCSS for babies and a friend just lent me the toddler version. Has anyone read that? Is it really different?

Thanks again. I will keep coming here to remember that I am not alone. Why does it seem like no one I know personally deals with this issue? Maybe no one tells the full truth? What is with the obsession with having a baby that STTN? I am just looking for a little more sleep - not a miracle. I have to keep telling people that CIO is the current "trend" and that there have been lots of things that used to be the only way that are now no longer in "fashion."

Another day. Here I come.
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#7 of 9 Old 02-04-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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NCSS didn't really help me AT ALL in terms of getting more sleep, it did make me feel justified in not letting my baby CIO. That's about all it was useful for. We called it the No Cry, No Sleep, No Solution book in our house.

I LOVE Sleepless in America. I know it's so hard to think about reading another book about sleep when you have not slept in so long but it's worth it. Getting our day right pretty much eliminated our night time problems (she had spurts of sleeping OK every now and then, of napping regularly for a while here and there but at 2.5 years I considered getting up with her twice each night for an hour each time to be GOOD, so you can imagine the kind of sleep history she had). You can skip a lot of it and just read what is helpful to you. The lists of foods that can cause wakefulness was a surprise to me, the ideas on when to be active and just how early you really need to start slowing down for bedtime was an eye opener.

I would say my daughter's sleep turned around within a week or two of us using the ideas in Sleepless in America. I didn't have to worry about what to do for night waking as they didn't happen anymore. We can be much less rigid about it now because she knows how to shut herself down to get to sleep and how to get herself back to sleep in the night. We've even been able to adapt to things like...we like to rock her a little bit before bedtime and sometimes she likes to sleep with us (or one of us with her). We can do those things without interrupting or affecting the quality of her sleep.

I can not recommend it enough!
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#8 of 9 Old 02-04-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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NCSS didn't work for us either. Maybe do check out Sleepless in America first?

babyboy.gif: 01/10/2009 and 09/29/2011

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#9 of 9 Old 02-04-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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Have you thought about "nightweaning" him from the rocking? I think NCSS has a section on that. Just throwing ideas out there. You could try to transition him from the rocking to you sitting on the bed (mattress on the floor, whatever you can use) bouncing/rocking, to you sitting on the bed holding, and maybe eventually just patting/rubbing. We weaned DS from the rocking chair (he only needed it to initially get to sleep, luckily, and we are still nursing so that helps) around 9 months old, and it helped some of our sleep issues tremendously.

Do you keep a cup of water next to his bed in case he gets thirsty?


I agree with the PP about Sleepless in America. Definitely worth the read.



ETA: have you tried a fan for white-noise, or water sounds instead of lullabies? music stimulates my DS, that is why I'm asking.

Catie belly.gif- Happy wife to Aaron stillheart.gif(01.05), mama to Liambikenew.gif(08.08), and Ian jammin.gif (11.10)! homebirth.jpgnocirc.giffamilybed1.gif and joy.gif due Feb 2013 with blessing #3!

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