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#1 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So as we all know (if you follow any of my posts/threads) Liam is not a great sleeper. He normally goes to bed around 7, is up for the day between 5-6, and wakes every hour (sometimes more, sometimes less) all. night. long. every night.

BUT-- this thread is actually not about him, it is about me! I have been having an increasingly difficult time sleeping. I am getting very anxious when I go to bed, and will lay there for at least an hour before falling asleep. And when he wakes up, I have a hard time falling asleep after that. So, not only am I not sleeping because of being woken up every hour, I am having a hard time sleeping, period!

Please help! How can I unwind better/quicker at night? FWIW, I also nap with Liam each day, and by the time we nap (around 10 AM) I am so exhausted from not sleeping the night before and being up early in the morning, I don't usually have a problem falling asleep for naps.

Any advice is much appreciated! Thanks!

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#2 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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Oh LadyCatherine.....I cringe every time I see you post something in this forum because I know that means little Liam is still not sleeping well.

This may sound really simple and stupid, but hey, anything is better then nothing right? Other then being completly exhausted by 10am, what else do you do at nap time that you maybe can try at bed time? OR, maybe you are like a newbown and have your days and nights mixed up right now (Your body does) Would you be willing to try skipping your nap with Liam (If thats even possible) and then maybe by the time bedtime rolls around, you will be so exhausted you will just pass out!
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#3 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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I wish I knew how to help but I'm having the same problem!!

DS wakes up every 20-60 minutes -- although every once in a while he'll give me a longer (or shorter ) stretch -- and I just can't sleep even when he gives me those longer stretches!!! Partly for me it's because I'm anxious, it seems easier to stay awake than to be woken up just as I'm drifting off!! Plus my natural bedtime is around 10-11pm but he goes to bed between 11pm-1am so I kind of miss my chance I guess. And half the time when he wakes up (especially when he gets into that every-10-minutes mode!!) I just can't get back to sleep. I'll be wide awake at 4am with DS FINALLY fast asleep.

So... no help I guess... but I can certainly commiserate!! Have you tried reading or even watching TV? Or winding down with a cup of tea or relaxing music?

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#4 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 05:07 PM
 
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a few random thoughts (bearing in mind that I only sleep about 5-6 hours a night)...

Does he sleep with you at night? You might try everyone going to bed at the same time and sleeping in the same bed. I have found this is great for regulating sleeping patterns.

However, with my daughter (now 2), I found that it was precisely because she was still sleeping with us that she was waking up...she was affected, I think, by us rolling around or whatever. We put her in her own bed next to our bed and all of sudden she was sleeping through the night.


This is another random thought - I used to think keeping my kids up later would work to my advantage...it never has. I have found that overtired children sleep worse than well rested ones. A 10 am nap seems early to me...try for a noon time nap and see if he doesn't sleep longer into the afternoon and stay up a little later at night.

Good luck!

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#5 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh LadyCatherine.....I cringe every time I see you post something in this forum because I know that means little Liam is still not sleeping well.

This may sound really simple and stupid, but hey, anything is better then nothing right? Other then being completly exhausted by 10am, what else do you do at nap time that you maybe can try at bed time? OR, maybe you are like a newbown and have your days and nights mixed up right now (Your body does) Would you be willing to try skipping your nap with Liam (If thats even possible) and then maybe by the time bedtime rolls around, you will be so exhausted you will just pass out!
I have thought about doing that... there are some days (actually, the last 3 days!) where he takes a really crappy nap, and I don't really sleep during it, but I still have a really hard time falling asleep at night. Last night I was WIPED, almost falling asleep on the couch, and I went to bed and layed down and still took forever to fall asleep. My mind just won't stop, and I am so anxious about Liam's next wakeup..

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#6 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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a few random thoughts (bearing in mind that I only sleep about 5-6 hours a night)...

Does he sleep with you at night? You might try everyone going to bed at the same time and sleeping in the same bed. I have found this is great for regulating sleeping patterns.

However, with my daughter (now 2), I found that it was precisely because she was still sleeping with us that she was waking up...she was affected, I think, by us rolling around or whatever. We put her in her own bed next to our bed and all of sudden she was sleeping through the night.


This is another random thought - I used to think keeping my kids up later would work to my advantage...it never has. I have found that overtired children sleep worse than well rested ones. A 10 am nap seems early to me...try for a noon time nap and see if he doesn't sleep longer into the afternoon and stay up a little later at night.

Good luck!
He does sleep with me at night, in fact we just kicked DH out of the room to sleep in DS's twin bed so that there is a little less disruption hoping he'd sleep better with just one other person in the bed. NOPE! We've tried having him sleep in his room/bed and he still wakes up just as often. I have tried pushing his naps back later and it doesn't really help. In fact, he sleeps worse during his nap and is cranky the rest of the day. I've tried keeping him up later, putting him to bed earlier, etc etc. and the 'schedule' we have now is the one that works best for him. He is ready for a nap by 10 because most mornings he is up at 5.

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#7 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it within the realm of normal for a healthy 17.5 month old to still be waking every hour?

We have worked through some food allergy issues, he definitely reacts to dairy and that is out of both of our diets, and doesn't have any other allergy symptoms at this time.

He is gaining well (he is STILL a chunky boy) and very active. He has been on the early side for all milestones (crawl/scoot at 6 months, first steps at 9 months, walking full-time by 10.5 months, 5 words before a year old/20 by 14 months/now has about 130-40 words) so his lack of sleep does not seem to be affecting him negatively at all. He is generally a happy toddler (was a very high needs baby and fussy all the time until he started walking) as long as I keep him busy/entertained.

What am I missing?

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#8 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 05:52 PM
 
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Just wanted to say I identify with this feeling. I also get that anxious feeling at bedtime - for me, it's like I feel this enormous pressure that I need to fall asleep right now since DS is finally sleeping, and that pressure makes it impossible to actually fall asleep. The only thing that helps me is to sort of focus on myself and my sleep needs, and try not to think about the next time I'll be woken up - easier said than done, I know. But I try to focus on my breathing and systematically relax my body, head to toe - that helps take my mind off the bigger issue at hand, and usually nature will take it's course and I'll fall asleep.
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#9 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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Oh, I feel for you. I can't imagine hourly wakings. I too would wonder if something else was going on. Have you considered a sleep study? Perhaps it would shed some light on the cause of the wakings.

I also have issues with not being able to fall asleep which is the most awful feeling when you need every second of sleep. I do something that I think is bad, but I do it out of desperation. Sometimes I take about a half of a children's dose of benadryl. It doesn't impact my ability to wake up but it helps me fall back to sleep. I hate medicine of any kind so this makes me feel bad, but I do it out of desperation. I am not nursing though.

Is there something natural that you could take that may help? Like melatonin? Not sure what is safe with BF.
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#10 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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Is it within the realm of normal for a healthy 17.5 month old to still be waking every hour?
I don't think that it is normal. Not in a healthy child.

It sounds as though when he reaches the light sleep stage of his sleep cycle he's waking fully rather than putting himself back to sleep. It's a habit and he needs new sleep associations and to learn how to sleep normally.

Have you tried a sleep clinic? If you're worried that they'll recommend CIO then don't be, there are other, gentle, techniques you can try and they'll support you.
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#11 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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I think if he's growing, etc. those are signs that he is healthy.
Some kids are just not great sleepers If he is sensitive to dairy I'd also start looking elsewhere to see if any other food allergies are showing up in his sleep cycling.

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#12 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think that it is normal. Not in a healthy child.

It sounds as though when he reaches the light sleep stage of his sleep cycle he's waking fully rather than putting himself back to sleep. It's a habit and he needs new sleep associations and to learn how to sleep normally.

Have you tried a sleep clinic? If you're worried that they'll recommend CIO then don't be, there are other, gentle, techniques you can try and they'll support you.
he is waking fully after most sleep cycles. how would you suggest that I give him new "associations" without CIO? I have read NCSS and Sleepless in America. i thought about a sleep study/clinic but everyone on this board said that they will just tell me to do strict scheduling and forms of CIO. I am not willing to do CIO or any variation of it.

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#13 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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i thought about a sleep study/clinic but everyone on this board said that they will just tell me to do strict scheduling and forms of CIO. I am not willing to do CIO or any variation of it.
Yes, this seems to be true! I had a HATEFUL experience trying to get a study done. But my pediatrician just put a new referral in for me - just flat out ordered a study. We haven't gone yet, but I plan on taking the info that we learn from the study (if anything) and do what I want with it. They can tell you what is going on if something is wrong, but they certainly can't tell you what to do with that info, right?
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#14 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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My DS's doctor didn't seem to think there was any concern with his very frequent waking but I really do question it. His doc said he will catch up on sleep throughout the day & he won't make himself sleep-deprived (that's nice, what about ME though? lol) Does Liam ALWAYS wake up frequently? Has he ever slept a little longer stretch? DS just just started occasionally giving me a 4-5 hour stretch a couple weeks ago. But 99% of the time we're back to waking every 20-60 minutes. The inconsistency confuses me because I can't figure out if that means he's fine (since he CAN sleep a little longer) or that something else (allergies etc???) is interferring with his sleep on most nights?

I'd be very reluctant to try a sleep clinic but you could always call and ask about their methods...

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#15 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, this seems to be true! I had a HATEFUL experience trying to get a study done. But my pediatrician just put a new referral in for me - just flat out ordered a study. We haven't gone yet, but I plan on taking the info that we learn from the study (if anything) and do what I want with it. They can tell you what is going on if something is wrong, but they certainly can't tell you what to do with that info, right?
yes someone I know actually had a sleep study done, and they told her that the kid wasn't going into REM sleep. but there wasn't anything they could do about it. so... to me it seems like a waste of time and money.

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#16 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS's doctor didn't seem to think there was any concern with his very frequent waking but I really do question it. His doc said he will catch up on sleep throughout the day & he won't make himself sleep-deprived (that's nice, what about ME though? lol) Does Liam ALWAYS wake up frequently? Has he ever slept a little longer stretch? DS just just started occasionally giving me a 4-5 hour stretch a couple weeks ago. But 99% of the time we're back to waking every 20-60 minutes. The inconsistency confuses me because I can't figure out if that means he's fine (since he CAN sleep a little longer) or that something else (allergies etc???) is interferring with his sleep on most nights?

I'd be very reluctant to try a sleep clinic but you could always call and ask about their methods...
He slept 6 hours once (at 4 months old, christmas night, after screaming all day from overstimulation and no naps), 5 hours once (can't remember the circumstances, but it was also in his first year), 4 hour maybe twice. He had a "good" month around 11 months where he would sleep 2 hour stretches, and another around 14 months where he slept 2 hour stretches. The only difference those months where a) at 11 months it was before he got his molars and b) at 14 months before he got his canines. So, all teeth are in besides 2 year molars. And I have been feeling/looking in his mouth and cannot see any buds of teeth at all. Oh, he does give us a 2 or 3 hour stretch for the very first stretch of sleep 2-5 times a week. But the last several weeks we haven't even gotten that.

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#17 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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Is it within the realm of normal for a healthy 17.5 month old to still be waking every hour?

We ?
I don't know if I can speak to statistics, but my kids were still wakign that much at that age. In fact, the only thign that made them NOT wake frequently was night-weaning. I nightweaned ds at 18 months, with no regrets. Mama needs sleep, lol.

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#18 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 07:12 PM
 
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Our sleep got so much better when I did modified nightweaning (no nursing between 11 and 5 am). What's happening with nursing at night?

Also, dairy and soy can be linked. Have you tried eliminating both completely for a week or more?
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#19 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 07:14 PM
 
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i forgot to ask...when he wakes up every hour through the night, does he go back to sleep reasonably soon? how long is he staying awake - like enough for you to have to get up and go do something? What if he had his own bed, a night light and a few books to look at right there in the same room with you? If you had a gate on the doorway - or the door closed and he couldn't leave, could you nod off for a bit? Again, just a few thoughts as to what I might do.

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#20 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i forgot to ask...when he wakes up every hour through the night, does he go back to sleep reasonably soon? how long is he staying awake - like enough for you to have to get up and go do something? What if he had his own bed, a night light and a few books to look at right there in the same room with you? If you had a gate on the doorway - or the door closed and he couldn't leave, could you nod off for a bit? Again, just a few thoughts as to what I might do.
On a good night he is back asleep in less than a minute. On an average night, maybe 5 minutes. On a bad night he will toss and turn for 15-60 minutes before going back to sleep.

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#21 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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I am very sympathetic to your sleeping situation. DD woke up nearly every 44-46 minutes until 16 months. I began to have a similar anxiety problem - I would just lie there, frozen, waiting for the next awakening. I think the one thing that worked well (other than her beginning to sleep better) was to take a tincture for sleep. I think I used the Wishgarden Herbs Sleepy Nights tincture. I also used Rescue Remedy throughout the night.

It was also helpful when we moved DD to a futon on the floor pushed up against our bed. She knew that I was there to comfort her, but the slight removal of proximity allowed her to be less disturbed by me rolling over. When she woke I would crawl down and nurse her then get back up in the bed to sleep.

I have not read all of your other posts but I'm sure you're doing the usual things like white noise, making sure he is warm enough, etc.

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#22 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our sleep got so much better when I did modified nightweaning (no nursing between 11 and 5 am). What's happening with nursing at night?

Also, dairy and soy can be linked. Have you tried eliminating both completely for a week or more?
i have thought about cutting soy, that may be my next step.

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#23 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It was also helpful when we moved DD to a futon on the floor pushed up against our bed. She knew that I was there to comfort her, but the slight removal of proximity allowed her to be less disturbed by me rolling over. When she woke I would crawl down and nurse her then get back up in the bed to sleep.

I have not read all of your other posts but I'm sure you're doing the usual things like white noise, making sure he is warm enough, etc.
I have thought of this too, but the thought of getting out of bed would make me even more anxious. and a lot of times now he will nurse, roll over and then a few minutes later want to nurse again. repeat a few times until asleep. but there are also times when he just nurses real quick and then is back asleep for an hour.

we have white noise, blackout curtains, comfortable temperature.. etc etc..

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#24 of 45 Old 02-12-2010, 08:00 PM
 
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Hugs. I have the insomnia problem too. Drink lots of chamomile tea - it's the cumulative effect that works after maybe a week of drinking it. Also like pp I have taken benadryl to just kick start my sleep again.

Accupuncture worked wonders for my sleep problems pre-baby. I keep trying to find a time to start going again. I wish I could get ds to sit still long enough to have it too!

Do you have any intuition about whether partial night weaning might help?

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#25 of 45 Old 02-13-2010, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you have any intuition about whether partial night weaning might help?
my intuition honestly says that it won't work..

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#26 of 45 Old 02-13-2010, 12:46 AM
 
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Didn't read all the replies, but here's what has worked (mostly) for me. I tell myself that if I don't fall asleep, I'm not going to get any sleep, and I really need sleep. It usually works. My brain must say to itself 'I've got to let her sleep now, otherwise I won't function well tomorrow!' Anyway, hope that made sense. I'm kinda tired because my kiddos haven't been feeling well, so I haven't been sleeping as well as normal, haha!
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#27 of 45 Old 02-13-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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You know, just wanted to say real quick that I didn't think nightweaning would help either. I was convinced that it would never work in a million years, in fact, and people who suggested it just didn't know HOW high needs DD is or didn't fully understand the situation or just didn't get it.

However, we nightweaned completely when she was about 20 or 21 months and it was pretty painless for everyone. She fussed for a bit when I refused and then rolled over and went back to sleep in less than a minute. There were still wakings for a while, but they gradually got fewer and fewer and now, at 28 months, she'll finally sleep for a six hour chunk (along with some slightly less great sleep on either end of that, but whatever- I take what I can get).

If you feel ready (that's really important), you might give it a shot. The worst that happens is that it doesn't work (but give it a go for a few nights before you decide that). No pressure-- it just made such a difference with us that I wanted to share that.

mom to one glorious sweetpea born 10/18/2007.

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#28 of 45 Old 02-13-2010, 01:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185 View Post
On a good night he is back asleep in less than a minute. On an average night, maybe 5 minutes. On a bad night he will toss and turn for 15-60 minutes before going back to sleep.
Oh, this all sounds so familiar and nothing seemed to help for so long. I cried for months and also felt that pressure to fall asleep ASAP since DD was sleeping, but laid in my bed dreading bedtime, and sleeping, too, because it was so yucky. DD improved after a year and half, but it wasn't until nightweaning that she began sleeping through the night. I wish I had known that this was the key for us--had tried variations of NCSS, sleeping together, sleeping apart, etc. Insomnia runs strongly in my family and I think DD would enter those stages of sleep and wake instead of rolling over and going right back to sleep. When literally one minute of nursing had her back to sleep I knew this was a bad habit that needed to be broken. It was almost completely painless and we are finally sleeping. I feel for you because it is awful to be so exhausted every day for months on end.

Single HB mama to 2!
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#29 of 45 Old 02-13-2010, 01:48 AM
 
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i'm going to add my vote for nightweaning.

my ds was 18 months and i was a crabby horrible mother all.the.time. because i could not get _any_ sleep. i seriously did not feel safe driving because it was so hypnotic that i would start to nod off.

i finally steeled myself to do it and it was difficult.

but the next night he went to sleep on his own woke up twice and fussed for maybe 30 seconds and went back to sleep. the next night he didn't fuss at all.

my dd is still night nursing at almost 2 and she now nurses for a few seconds, i tell her all done, and she pops off and sleeps on her own. however, she sleeps for four hours at a time so it's not the same at all.

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#30 of 45 Old 02-13-2010, 02:41 AM
 
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Well, my oldest was a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE sleeper. He did not sleep thought the night at all until after age 2. We went through a long stage of waking every hour and me not being able to get back to sleep. I think I got so exhausted that my body just was not able to shift into sleep mode effectively because I knew I'd be up in 20 minutes or whatever. I seriously have never felt worse in my entire life. I am pretty sure that for 2 months I got no more than 10-15 minutes of consecutive sleep and less than 2 hours total per night.

So - here is what I think. Sleep habits are HABITS - and you have a babe with a well established habit of waking each hour, nursing (presumably) and needing attention to get back to sleep. You need to figure out how to break that habit - and it will not be easy or quick. Once that is accomplished you can hopefully change your exisiting not-falling-asleep habit and regain some vitality. It might be night weaning, it might be the No Cry Sleep Solution approach, or *whatever*. It might be not cosleeping (it did not work for us in part because older babe is a very light sleeper). It might be some combination of all three and other things. It will take a week or more of slogging through each attempt to determine of there is any improvement at all.

I did find with both my children that a bedtime and naptime routine, a fairly rigid bedtime schedule and routine, were huge helps. I had to let older learn to settle himself and for me not to respond instantly to every peep from his crib.

Best wishes. (Have to agree that a sleep study isn't going to be of much use. Babe might not be getting into REM or through full sleep cycle due to frequent waking - but that is all a sleep study can tell you. No meds to fix it. )
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