How do you encourage yourself to keep doing it this way? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 06-09-2011, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My little guy is three and a half months old.  He's sleeping in a crib in my bedroom, and then ends up in bed with me and DH usually around 2 or 4 AM.  He sometimes does a four hour stretch (AWESOME) but usually he is up every two hours or so.  All.  Night.  Long.  He does a couple of actual feeds at night, but usually just touches his lips to my breast and falls right back to sleep (nice for him, but it takes me 30 minutes to fall back to sleep!).  

 

I know he is too young to expect much more than this, and I am totally opposed to crying it out even when he's older, but there is no denying that the sleep deprivation is pretty intense, and I'm only three months in.  I admit that I'm scared about this going on for another three, six, twelve months...

 

I am using some of the NCSS techniques, which is when we started seeing the occasional four hour stretch, so that's nice.  

 

I keep telling myself that I can sleep on weekends when DH is home.  My little guy is only a baby for a short time.  I love that I can comfort him when he wakes up.  I have family who parented their reluctant sleepers this way, and they encourage me.  But I am TIRED.  

 

What do you tell yourself at 3 AM when you've only had four hours of broken sleep?  I need something pithy that my sleep deprived brain can cling to.  ;)  

 

 

 

 

 

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#2 of 17 Old 06-10-2011, 08:45 AM
 
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Is taking him to bed with you for the entire night not an option? He may wake up less, or if he continues to wake up frequently, you can offer him the boob without getting up, without even really waking up.

Two hour stretches are fairly common at this age of great changes. It might only last till the next growth spurt. Things will change one way or another before you know it.

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#3 of 17 Old 06-10-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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earlyworm - I'm in about the same position as you - but LO is ~5 months.   I had him in a co-sleeper next to me and would bring him into the bed around 2am.  At month 3 he would typically go back to sleep if I had my face right against his.  Now, no such luck - he's just all over the bed from about 3/4/5 am onwards.

 

I also tried nursing in bed but that just wasn't working for me - he seemed to sleep even less and he's not dexterous enough to roll away and roll back to find the boob when he's hungry.  I will still do it from time to time (like this morning at 3 am when he decided that he was up for the day).  Generally, I will sit up to nurse and when he's done or acts like he's done, I'm done. 

 

I don't have a DH (I have a future ex-H :) ) but I have a mom staying with me for a few months (which is almost better in many ways) and while I don't want to abuse her, occasionally I will ask her to take him in the morning (5am) so I can sleep for an hour.

 

So no real answers - I think that this waking up is pretty common for the next few months (check out the Kelly Mom pages about 4 mo olds) and if you can get naps here and there that might be your best bet.  Every once in awhile LO will do a 5-7 hr stretch and I come out from under the fog of perpetual sleeplessness for half a day :)

 

Good luck and I'm with you on trying to enjoy this even though sleep deprivation makes things difficult sometimes.

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#4 of 17 Old 06-10-2011, 11:57 AM
 
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Hm. Well, my 1 year old still gets up every 2 hrs, so I'm not sure how much advice I can give. Basically he's down at 9 pm then up at 11, 1, 3, 5 and up for the day at 6.

 

I do think that I fall back asleep faster now, so the broken sleep doesn't feel so bad. We also gave up on the crib and just took him into the big bed. Once he started to roll, we put the mattress on the floor. Oh, and DH sleeps on the couch or with older DD. And I often fall asleep with the baby at 9 pm.

 

I think I'm probably making you feel worse. orngtongue.gif

 

I think I just got used to it. Although there are many days when I'm really sacked.


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#5 of 17 Old 06-10-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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I agree with PP who suggested all night co-sleeping.  The more you can just roll over and not wake up too much, the faster you return to sleep and the more rested you will be.  It does get easier.  I remember feeling kind of helpless about the whole sleep situation around 3-4 months.  My dd still doesn't sleep great at 13 months, but most nights it's tolerable and I'm feeling rested.  Oh, and I have no idea most nights how many times she wakes.  I just don't pay attention anymore and it's much better!

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#6 of 17 Old 06-10-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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Take a yoga class or meditation class. Shivasana pose taught me how to go in few minutes from revved up to relaxed .  I fall asleep as soon as my head touches the pillow. . It save my sanity when babies were small

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#7 of 17 Old 06-11-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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If you can have baby in bed with you from the start of the night, these nights will get easier.  Roll over and insert boob.  Now sleep.  

It has worked wonderfully for me with 3 babies!  

I'm sorry you're having a hard time of these early days!

 

Oh, and are you swaddling?  (sorry I'm not familiar with NCSS...dont know what that is).  Swaddling is a very important part of managing infant sleep in these early days.  If you've tried it and not liked it, it might be a good idea to give it another good try, because in my experience, all babies, especially fussy or sensitive babies, need that kind of support to get consistent good sleep (again, especially in moments when they aren't next to you).  

 

Dana

 

 


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#8 of 17 Old 06-11-2011, 08:03 PM
 
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I think you should also consider getting yourself to bed earlier. When my DS was younger I held on to those late nights from my previous life...now we're in bed by 10 o'clock most nights and I get a couple more hours of sleep that way. If we've had a bad week sleep-wise, I'll get into bed at 8:30 or 9. I know...ridiculous.  But 8 or 10 hours of broken sleep is way better than 5 or 6.

If your LO is really a bad sleeper (I like to call mine a great waker... smile.gif) then 2-hr stretches and quick put-downs *really* aren't that bad. I know it IS bad and it's soo hard, but it could be A LOT worse. It might actually get worse instead of better as he gets older (mine did, and I wished for his 2-3 hour stretches he had when he was under 6 months) so while it's a great idea to start to look into things like the NCSS (never worked for us) it's also a good idea to start finding ways for you and your DH to deal with lack of sleep and frequent night waking. Devise a system. Have DH practice putting your LO down a few times at night. Find ways to get yourself more rest.

 

Good Luck!


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#9 of 17 Old 06-11-2011, 08:19 PM
 
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Can your DH help you out at all at night?  Maybe if you pumped a bit he could do a night feed?  If he took just one feeding you could get one 4 hour block in there and you'd probably feel a lot better.  I wouldn't try for too long with such a small baby, but 4 hours once a night is unlikely to seriously compromise your supply or anything.  And getting up once in the night shouldn't totally destroy your DH's sleep either. :-D

 

Then just bring baby in with you for the rest of the night.  Its so much easier to go back to sleep when you don't have to actually get out of bed for the feed.  Plus side-lying nursing puts me to sleep so much faster than sitting up for some reason.


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#10 of 17 Old 06-13-2011, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the feedback everyone!  

 

I feel a little more alive today.  My DH and I did this thing where for two nights he's on duty, and for two I'm on duty.  Baby was in the crib next to the bed and on my duty nights, I dealt with every night waking and of course feedings.  On DHs nights, he dealt with every night waking, and if he couldn't shush baby back down within a minute or so, he brought him to me for a feeding.  That worked out really well, and I felt great after two nights of (some) rest!  The only problem was that night before last my baby was up literally every hour, and so neither of us got much sleep.  :(  

 

Which brings me to last night!  I just put my baby in bed with me right off the bat, nursed him to sleep at 7:30 and then joined him at 8:30.  (He was actually in his crib for that stretch, since I was out of the room).  But we slept GREAT!  I am going to try that again tonight and see if we can get a repeat.  I am getting better about feeling comfortable sleeping with him in bed with us.  His neck control is really good now, so I feel more confident that he could get himself away from a pillow or boob if he needs to.  

 

Thanks again for all the encouragement.  

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#11 of 17 Old 06-13-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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Listen, I have a four month old, my 3rd one...  All of my babies have been in bed w/ me at least for the second half of the night.  With the first 2, I waited about a month because I thought I was told by everyone and my pediatrician that they shouldn't sleep in my bed.  This baby has slept in our bed from day one and I haven't missed out on any sleep at all!  Best decision I ever made. For the last 2 months, he starts the night in his bassinet next to my bed. He sleeps about 4 or 5 hours then into my bed he goes. I only nurse lying down at night and he knows it's sleepy time!  My advice to every nursing mama is put that baby in your bed and get some sleep!

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#12 of 17 Old 06-17-2011, 08:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earlyworm View Post

My little guy is three and a half months old.  He's sleeping in a crib in my bedroom, and then ends up in bed with me and DH usually around 2 or 4 AM.  He sometimes does a four hour stretch (AWESOME) but usually he is up every two hours or so.  All.  Night.  Long.  He does a couple of actual feeds at night, but usually just touches his lips to my breast and falls right back to sleep (nice for him, but it takes me 30 minutes to fall back to sleep!).  

 

I know he is too young to expect much more than this, and I am totally opposed to crying it out even when he's older, but there is no denying that the sleep deprivation is pretty intense, and I'm only three months in.  I admit that I'm scared about this going on for another three, six, twelve months...

 

I am using some of the NCSS techniques, which is when we started seeing the occasional four hour stretch, so that's nice.  

 

I keep telling myself that I can sleep on weekends when DH is home.  My little guy is only a baby for a short time.  I love that I can comfort him when he wakes up.  I have family who parented their reluctant sleepers this way, and they encourage me.  But I am TIRED.  

 

What do you tell yourself at 3 AM when you've only had four hours of broken sleep?  I need something pithy that my sleep deprived brain can cling to.  ;)  

 

 

 

 

 



I'm going to disagree with the "You'll get more sleep if you just have them in the same bed with you all night" camp.  I'm sure that MANY people do find that, but I don't think it's true for everyone.   Personally, I found that the stretches of uninterrupted sleep that I could get without baby beside me, in the earlier part of the night, were very important.     If I coslept from beginning to end of the night, I got up the next morning feeling unrefreshed and hurting all over.   The reason cosleeping is safe for babies is because adults keep the knowledge that there is a small thing in the bed with them in their subconscious all the time, so they don't roll over on them.  Thus, you don't sleep as deeply.   Also, I personally could not sleep through a nursing session.  I had to wake up at least somewhat, and then the nursing would keep me up, especially if it switched over to the non-nutritive "nibble nursing" form.

 

My babies started the night in their own bed, either the basinnette right by my bed, or later, the crib.   They went down in that for the first part of the night.  If they woke to nurse before 3-ish am, I nursed them and put them back down, and I brought them back to my bed for the second half of the night.   This worked really well, because both of them would usually have one stretch of 3-4 hours, and if I could get at least 3 hours of sleep on my own, I was much more functional and the overall sleep deprivation did not feel as severe. 

 

In my experience, both of my kids stretched that initial long sleep longer and longer.  My DS actually was going 5-6 hours a stretch, on his own, by the time he was 14 weeks old.   DD was up more frequently until she was much older, but she did get to the point of giving me at least one 3-4 hour block a night most nights.


savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#13 of 17 Old 06-17-2011, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Savithny,  your reply is very timely...  

 

I've had DS in bed with us for the last five nights now.  And while I *am* getting more sleep this way than I was when he was in his crib screaming every hour, I woke up this morning feeling pretty stiff and achy.  It was a long night of policing the bedcovers as DS kept grabbing the sheet and pulling it up over his face.  He also sleeps like a windmill in a tornado, limbs going every which way, and the last couple nights he has done this thing where he sort of thrashes around if any part of him is touching me, and he only lies still when I scoot away.  I'm sure you can picture a little 18 pound baby taking up an entire third of the bed.  eyesroll.gif

 

I just told my DH this morning that tonight we're going to try to get him to stay in his crib for at least half the night so I can have some comfortable sleep.  He has been going in his crib for naps and for the first hour or two of the night anyway, so hopefully it won't be too much of a struggle.  

 

Oh eight hours of solid sleep, how I miss you!!  

 

 

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#14 of 17 Old 06-17-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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Get a bigger bed so you can move around more? I don't know, I don't have this problem since my husband and I sleep in separate rooms and have for years, even before we had a baby (really bad sleep incompatibility). I roll away from my baby when I need space.

 

What about a sidecar crib?

 

For me, it got easier when my son became more efficient at nursing and more mobile. When he was your baby's age, I didn't understand mothers who said "just roll over, latch, and go back to sleep." I had to roll over to him, prop myself up on an elbow, and nurse him for 10-15 minutes, and then I had a really hard time getting back to sleep. But when he got older, he would kind of roll over to me and nurse for 5 minutes, and I figured out how to stay lying and just drift back to sleep. I also didn't worry so much about accidentally getting a blanket or pillow over his face once he was bigger and more mobile. I also threw out my alarm clock so the time wasn't staring me in the face.


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#15 of 17 Old 06-17-2011, 06:33 PM
 
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Sidecar the crib.

 

Works beautifully.

 

My little one is a thrasher too. What I do after he's asleep is take a rolled up cotton blanket and put it between me and the crib. It's not squishy, and it gives me enough of a barrier that he can thrash all he wants without hitting me. It also keeps me from accidentally touching him while he sleeps, which wakes him up.

 

http://www.freewebs.com/sidecarcrib/index.htm

 

Ami


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#16 of 17 Old 06-17-2011, 07:46 PM
 
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Totally agree... spent a month or so w/ bby all night, but then started putting him to bed separate until he woke up.  Now he sometimes sleeps 5-6 hours at 4 months old.

 

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#17 of 17 Old 06-18-2011, 10:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whozeyermamma View Post

Hm. Well, my 1 year old still gets up every 2 hrs, so I'm not sure how much advice I can give. Basically he's down at 9 pm then up at 11, 1, 3, 5 and up for the day at 6.

 

I do think that I fall back asleep faster now, so the broken sleep doesn't feel so bad. We also gave up on the crib and just took him into the big bed. Once he started to roll, we put the mattress on the floor. Oh, and DH sleeps on the couch or with older DD. And I often fall asleep with the baby at 9 pm.

 

I think I'm probably making you feel worse. orngtongue.gif

 

I think I just got used to it. Although there are many days when I'm really sacked.



This is how it is for us.  DD2 is actually sleeping less than when she was a newborn, but around 4-5 months I adjusted to never sleeping more than 2 hours at a time.  It happened with DD1 too.  So I have no advice, except drink lots of coffee, which probably isn't helpful.  It will eventually end though and one day you'll wake up and realise it's been 7 glorious hours!


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