My child won't sleep enough - Mothering Forums
Co-sleeping and the Family Bed > My child won't sleep enough
TattooedMomma's Avatar TattooedMomma 10:15 PM 10-21-2010
I've been doing a lot of reading on how important sleep is to babies (and everyone else) and I know my dd isn't getting enough, especially this last week. She's been up every hour (or more) throughout the night, and then she usually takes a decent morning nap (only with me and after a heck of a lot of work on my part). Other then perhaps a cat nap here and there, she won't sleep again till a two hour stretch at night.

She is not getting enough sleep and I have no idea how to help her! Today I focused on getting her to sleep no matter what it takes (rocking, nursing, bouncing, walking, chores), and she STILL wouldn't do it! I feel like I am trying to be the best momma I can be and that she is thwarting my every attempt!

I'm exhausted and discouraged and I feel like sticking her in her crib tonight while I go sleep in the car. At what point do you take into account the cost of all these sleepless nights and decide things have to change? And how do you implement change in a compassionate, loving way at 3am after weeks or months of sleeplessness? I'm starting to wonder if it's even possible for me.



- She's never slept well.

- I also wanted to add that I haven't been trying to force her to sleep. She IS tired when I try to get her to nap, I know her sleep signals, she just fights it.

LadyCatherine185's Avatar LadyCatherine185 10:35 PM 10-21-2010
my DS has always been a sleep fighter too...

In order to help you a little better-- How old is your DD? And how many total hours in the day of sleep is she getting?

FWIW, the more I stressed about my DS's sleep the worse it got. Once we got a good routine down to our day, that included LOTS of exercise/play/outside time for him, and dropping down to one nap a day around 10 months old, things got a lot better. He still woke frequently, but didn't fight it as much.. We nightweaned at 19/20 months and he sleeps through the night most every night now.
pinky's Avatar pinky 10:52 PM 10-21-2010
My older dd was always a sleep fighter, and I swear when she was around 2 she slept less than 10 hours out of 24. And was a very intense little person when she was awake. I was kind of a crazy person.

If it's any consolation, she did grow out of it. At 9, she regularly sleeps 11 hours a night. I think she's still making up for lost sleep as a baby!
TattooedMomma's Avatar TattooedMomma 12:32 AM 10-22-2010
She's just 8 months. She naps less than 2 hours typically, its hard to say how much she is getting at night. Perhaps 5 good hours and 2-3 restless hours. I was doing pretty well about not worrying about it for awhile, but when I read about the latest, greatest studies about it I started worrying again.

I think I need to though, 7 hours of good sleep is definitely not enough. I've tried to get her on a schedule, but she just won't sleep so it never works out.
JudiAU's Avatar JudiAU 01:24 AM 10-22-2010
Restless sleep is sleep it is just a different type of sleep. By 5 hours do you mean a straight 5 hour stretch with a wakeup and then 2-3 hours. So 8 total with 2 hours of naps. That is not so bad. That is ten and you want closer to 12. Is she getting teeth that can make for restless sleep?

I know sound blasé and I dint mean to. When you are in thick of it it is so hard. I really agonized over ds's sleep. I rread books and nasty websites and steuggled and agonized But with my second I am just more flexible, less surprised (or beaten down as dh says).

It gets better. It does. They just find their rhythm. I find a 1000 easier to cosleep with just the baby and no grumpy dh and no hauling but out of bed In the middle of the night.
dachshund mom's Avatar dachshund mom 03:48 AM 10-22-2010
DD has never been a sleeper. Never slept in the car, stroller, carrier, anywhere. They say it's a sign of a gifted child, so that should make you feel a little better. I just read this parenting book that said you can't make them eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom so don't even try to force it. It was talking about older kids, but I know at some point I had to let go of the hope that DD would ever be on a schedule or sleep consistantly. She just won't and I have TRIED.


Is she unhappy? Do you wake her up in the morning or can she sleep in? Have you put up black out curtains? Where is she sleeping at night (your bed, crib, her room)? Are you nursing and does she nurse to sleep? Could the cat naps be a problem? When DD was transitioning to one nap, a late 10 minute nap would keep her up till midnight.
LadyCatherine185's Avatar LadyCatherine185 12:13 PM 10-22-2010
8 months was the WORST time for sleep for us. DS was waking every 15-30 minutes all.night.long. I was a mess.

Do you cosleep? The only thing that saved me during that time was having Liam in bed with me and nursing laying down... Also, DH would take him in the morning and let me sleep an extra hour while he got ready for work (Liam was also an early riser) and a couple hours each weekend. I also layed down and took naps with him. Another big help was blackout curtains and white noise.

It gets better, I promise you. Now at 2 he almost always STTN (still wakes up early and seems to need less sleep than the "average" 2 year old) and takes a 1.5-2 hour nap each afternoon.

A book I found really helpful was Sleepless In America.

ETA: how is her temperment? does she seem happy/well rested? Or constantly overtired? Does she have food allergy signs? What about reflux? Some kids really do need less sleep.
TattooedMomma's Avatar TattooedMomma 01:20 PM 10-22-2010
We co-sleep and she always nurses to sleep at night (during the day occasionally a car ride or a walk will get her to sleep). She doesn't sleep 5 hours at a stretch, I certainly wish she would! And the restless sleep is also intermittent.

The cat naps are when I get her to sleep (by nursing or walking or whatever) and then she wakes up for no apparent reason or because I tried to put her down. Here lately since I've just been focused on her sleeping I've read a book while she naps in her carrier, which helped a little bit, but sometimes she still wakes up after just half an hour. I wish I could nap while she naps, but I'm not a good napper either.

Usually when she first gets up she's happy but 10-30 minutes later she's tired and grumpy again, but won't go back to sleep no matter what I do till about an hour or two later. Short naps she almost always wakes up grumpy but again, she won't go back to sleep.

It's not that she has energy to burn, she's tired and unhappy (or wired), I just don't know what to do.
vrclay's Avatar vrclay 02:29 PM 10-22-2010
FWIW - I remember 8 months being a TERRIBLE sleep time at our house and my SIL and cousin jsut confirmed the same thing at their house. Hope it gets better soon.

As for sleeping in the car, I've been known to drive aroudn till little guy fell asleep and then drive back to our hosue and nap with him in the car. Whatever you gotta do to sleep...
TattooedMomma's Avatar TattooedMomma 03:17 PM 10-22-2010
I got Sleepless in America and a couple other books on infant sleep at the library, maybe they'll help.

Thanks for all the encouragement everyone, I'm feeling a little more hopeful that at least this won't last forever!
sillysmile's Avatar sillysmile 04:19 AM 10-23-2010
Just a warning about Sleepless in America.. I read that around the time that DD was about 8 months and sleeping terribly, and the only thing that I really retained from it was a LOT of guilt about how little my DD was sleeping (compared to what she says kids need). While I really enjoyed Raising Your Spirited Child (by the same author), I just didn't find very many practial strategies in Sleepless in America. A whole lot of the book was devoted to making the case that babies need lots of sleep, and that without it, their daytime behavior is going to be disastrous. Not very helpful to me. Just my opinion though.. I know lots of others have good things to say about the book.
LadyCatherine185's Avatar LadyCatherine185 04:34 PM 10-23-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysmile View Post
Just a warning about Sleepless in America.. I read that around the time that DD was about 8 months and sleeping terribly, and the only thing that I really retained from it was a LOT of guilt about how little my DD was sleeping (compared to what she says kids need). While I really enjoyed Raising Your Spirited Child (by the same author), I just didn't find very many practial strategies in Sleepless in America. A whole lot of the book was devoted to making the case that babies need lots of sleep, and that without it, their daytime behavior is going to be disastrous. Not very helpful to me. Just my opinion though.. I know lots of others have good things to say about the book.
What I found really helpful about the book was keeping a consistent routine to our day. Making sure I give DS plenty of play time, and outside time.. and timing for those things. It really helped us out a lot.

8 months was the worst sleep time for us too.
sillysmile's Avatar sillysmile 05:28 PM 10-23-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185 View Post
What I found really helpful about the book was keeping a consistent routine to our day. Making sure I give DS plenty of play time, and outside time.. and timing for those things. It really helped us out a lot.

8 months was the worst sleep time for us too.
That's a good point - that was a very helpful part of the book. Thanks for reminding me!
provocativa's Avatar provocativa 09:19 PM 10-23-2010
i am a believer in the biological basis of behavior, and that much insomnia is nutritional- i cured my lifelong insomnia with supplements. you can't make melatonin without b6 and magnesium, and can't absorb magnesium without d3. so i take a b stress complex in the morning, and mag citrate, D3, and calcium at night. if the baby eats, you can feed her foods highest in b vitamins like liver and nutritional yeast. you can take a b complex to get more in your milk. it is safe to supplement babies with the other 3. they make a version of Natural Calm magnesium for babies. I gave my toddlers Bluebonnet Cal/Mag/D3 liquid- no additives or artificials, and / or Trace Minerals Research Ionic Magnesium. Even many allopathic MDs recommend vitamin D for infants (D2 is crap though). Homeopathics also helped ours some.
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