7-month-old now wants to sleep in my lap all night long! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 02-15-2011, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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DS used to sleep pretty well the first few months, typically with one stretch of 5-7 hours.

Then we hit the 4-month sleep regression and he started waking up every 2-3 hours to nurse.  I was ok with that. 

He is currently in an arm's reach co-sleeper at night (the larger one), but not for much longer.  We never mastered side-lying nursing (I think because of my oversupply/OALD) so I sit up and have him in my lap to nurse. 


In the last few weeks he would wake up, usually nurse back to sleep, then when I try to put him back down he would wake up and gets upset.  If I pick him up and put him back in my lap, he goes right back to sleep (within seconds).  He might need about 20 minutes of this before I could put him down and he would stay asleep.


Now in the last few days, this 20 minutes has stretched out to much longer, sometimes I can put him down after 30-40 minutes, sometimes it's over an hour.  He also wakes up much more frequently and the longest stretch of sleep I get is an hour.

I can't sleep with him in my lap so I am exhausted.  I have tried putting him in our bed next to me and cuddling with him but that's not good enough, he wants my lap.  I have had a few nights where he is basically in my lab all night long and I only get one or two 20-minute stretches of sleep.


He naps beautifully in his crib (also in our room) and is really easy to get to sleep during the day.  We usually just put him down on our bed with his little teddy bear and he drifts off to sleep, then we move him to the crib. Later in the day he does usually need a bit more help getting him to sleep, either nursing or a binky or wearing to sleepiness, then he will drift off on his own.  He takes 1 long nap in the morning (maybe ~2 hours), and usually either 1 longer or 2 shorter naps in the afternoon.  We have a nighttime routine and I usually get him down for bed sometime between 6-7:30 (depending on him) and that is not too difficult. 


Sometimes he really wakes up at night because of having to poop (we do EC but not at night except for poops) and/or big burps, then it does take a couple of hours to get him back to sleep, so I know those nights he is overtired.  When he is being fussy I do try to burp him (he hates being on his back when he is burpy) but he usually wants none of it, just wants to go back to sleep in my lap.


The other night I tried to start him out for the night in his crib, but he woke up very upset to be in there and it took a long time to get him settled again.  I have tried dressing him differently, different overnight diapers, but they don't seem to make much difference.  We have a night light and use white noise at night.  We stopped swaddling at 5 months because he decided he didn't like it anymore.


I do have NCSS and am giving it a re-read but was hoping that someone here would have some suggestions to help out a tired mama!

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#2 of 3 Old 02-16-2011, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Well nobody responded, but I'll post an update anyway.


I decided I had to put my foot down on lap sleeping, even if it meant him waking up and being up for a while.


So last night he woke up a little before 9, nursed, wanted to sleep in my lap, but woke up when I put him down.  I was able to get him calmed down and get some burps out of him, then worked on getting him back to sleep, which happened at 11:15.  He then woke up at midnight very upset, I was able to calm him enough to nurse him.  He then wanted to sleep in my lap, and got very upset at anything else I tried, didn't matter what I did.  Finally DH woke up (he is a very heavy sleeper and usually sleeps through all the nighttime wakings) and took him, and that calmed down DS right away.  I went to sleep, DH eventually got DS back to sleep.  DS then woke up at 4:30 to nurse but went back to sleep and I was able to put him down right away, and then woke up at 7 to nurse and for his morning poop.


So although it was a bit rougher on DS and DH, it was better for me - I had a 3.5 hour and a 2.5 hour stretch of sleep and feel much more refreshed (amazing how your standards change).  I think we'll keep trying this and hopefully it will keep getting better.  He's been working on teeth too so I know that has made things worse as well.

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#3 of 3 Old 02-16-2011, 12:59 PM
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Good for you.  It's so hard at that age...Emily went through a phase like that. 


One thing I did to make side lying nursing easier for us was I pumped a little off before bed so that I had less milk. 


I'm never fully side lying, more sort of propped up leaning on my side a little and she lays in the crook of my arm, but when she is teething she needs body warmth to stay out of pain.


We have used clove oil on her gums which worked well and helped her to stay asleep after nursing, but doesn't help with the waking up.


DH and I took turns with DH giving her bottles of pumped milk between 12am and 5am  so I could have 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, because he could sleep when I got up with her.  It got us through those rough months.  Now she's sleeping through again at 13 months...month 7-11 was awful! 

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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