nursing to sleep no longer working too well - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 01-13-2012, 06:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is almost 13 months and around the time he turned 1 year, his nursing to sleep behavior (which has always been tried and true) changed. He is always been a huge nurser and nursing to sleep when he was tired would always work. Now, he will nurse...and nurse...and nurse......and not fall asleep, even though he is tired. He wakes up every 2-3 hours at night and will nurse for 30-40 min sometimes and it still won't be enough to get him back down.

 

I have started feeling very burnt out. I work FT and have nursed DS on demand for a year, sometimes for two hours at a time, and I plan to continue to BF but the long nursing/sucking and NOT falling asleep, at this age...I'm just starting to reach my limits!

 

Around the 12-month mark, I had seen that DS was starting to nurse, would roll over awake, and then would pass out. That got me excited because I thought maybe he is finally learning how to put himself to sleep. So, DH and I decided that he could try putting DS asleep at night after I nursed him, then would go to bed with him (we co-sleep) and would try and handle the nighttime wakings as well to see if DS could put himself to sleep without nursing for nearly an hour. I don't intend to nightwean him but this was sort of a nudge in that direction to see how he would handle it being away from my boobs here and there at night.

 

Well, now I feel like we've created a disaster. On most nights, DS will go to bed very well for my husband after I nurse him (if he is tired...if not, DH will let him play quietly a bit longer). But, the nighttime wakings have been a MESS. DH will get up with him, and DS will see me in the bed and just cry. We never let him cry, so that really bothers me. So, he'll hand him over to me and I will try to nurse him back to sleep like usual. 40 min. later, after he has delatched and rolled over and come back to nurse again 50 times, I have nearly had it, so I'll ask DH to try to put him down again. Well, when DH takes him, DS starts SOBBING. He'll walk around with him in another room trying to put him down and DS will just cry louder and louder. And I can't take that. I feel so guilty that he is crying because I was too selfish to just keep him latched on as long as he wanted, but at the same time I can't sleep when he nurses for over 40 min to get back to sleep and is still awake and rolling around.

 

So, I'll go in and get DS back and say I'll nurse him again and then DH is upset, claiming that DS is fine, that I'm messing it all up because I cant make up my mind and then we start yelling at each other at 2 am in front of DS who gets quiet as soon as I take him and then just watches us yell at each other. This is NOT the way I want bedtime to be, nor do I want to yel at my husband l in front of DS after he has cried for 10 min. because he wants me.

 

It is like, the only options I have are to let DS nurse away at night and I won't sleep, or to let him cry hysterically in DH's arms. At times he will fall asleep quite easily in the middle of the night with DH, but not usually. Although I feel at the time that I can't let him nurse any longer b/c I'm frustrated, and maybe DH can get him to sleep, once he starts screaming I would much rather let him nurse forever!

 

Anyone have any tips on how we can handle these nighttime wakings better? Right now DH and I have barely talked all week and I'm sure some of it is sleep deprivation, but this is not what I envisioned when we started doing bedtime differently.

 

 

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#2 of 7 Old 07-14-2012, 08:18 PM
 
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Hi there,

 

I am not sure how these forums work and it looks like you posted this 7 months ago... but after reading your description about how nursing at night is going...it is just so exactly similar I had to write and see what you ended up doing? We are going nuts.

 

Our son also about 13 months, started the rolling off the boob and passing out, I also thought he was learning to sleep without me... but now despite hours of nursing...he won't fall asleep. Has been waking at night for about 2-3 hours and even when I nurse him the entire time it doesn't help. Naps are even starting to look the same.

 

His crib is at the foot of our bed and we have always done one night nursing but other wakings involve my husband soothing him to sleep in the crib. We have tried (and continue) to try the sleep training...nothing works...except for nursing him down...but not anymore!!

 

I have been dealing with PPD and the sound of his cries in addition to the loss of sleep is just grating to any nerve or emotional resolve I have left in me. Which is minimal, and my husband has had to cope with all of the above and me. He is amazing.

 

What did you guys do? Any suggestions from anyone appreciated!

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#3 of 7 Old 07-14-2012, 08:35 PM
 
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I remember having a really fruatrating couple of weeks to a month right aroundthe time dd1 started to walk (14 months). She was so hard to put to sleep and she woke up so much at night. It passed and she was a bit easier to put to sleep. She night weaned at 20 months when i was 3 months pregnant with dd2. Sorry you are dealing with that. Hopefully it will pass soon.

SAHM to Chloe«- 6/2008 (10 lbs, 5 oz), Hannah- 9/2010 (9 lbs, 12 oz), Liam- 2/2013 (9 lbs, 6 oz)

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#4 of 7 Old 07-15-2012, 05:45 PM
 
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thanks! It helps to hear from others that it will pass!!
 

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#5 of 7 Old 07-19-2012, 09:34 AM
 
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15.5 month old DD nurses to sleep and at night as well but sometimes it isn't enough. I keep a sippy of cool/cold water nearby and if she delatches without falling asleep, I offer it to her. 9 times out of ten she takes a few chugs and passes right out. It may not help but it's an easy thing to try. :-)
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#6 of 7 Old 07-20-2012, 07:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exhaustion View Post

Hi there,

 

I am not sure how these forums work and it looks like you posted this 7 months ago... but after reading your description about how nursing at night is going...it is just so exactly similar I had to write and see what you ended up doing? We are going nuts.

 

Our son also about 13 months, started the rolling off the boob and passing out, I also thought he was learning to sleep without me... but now despite hours of nursing...he won't fall asleep. Has been waking at night for about 2-3 hours and even when I nurse him the entire time it doesn't help. Naps are even starting to look the same.

 

His crib is at the foot of our bed and we have always done one night nursing but other wakings involve my husband soothing him to sleep in the crib. We have tried (and continue) to try the sleep training...nothing works...except for nursing him down...but not anymore!!

 

I have been dealing with PPD and the sound of his cries in addition to the loss of sleep is just grating to any nerve or emotional resolve I have left in me. Which is minimal, and my husband has had to cope with all of the above and me. He is amazing.

 

What did you guys do? Any suggestions from anyone appreciated!

 



That "waking for hours at night" thing tends to go in phases for us, too.  DD's 28 months or so now, and she (knock on wood) hasn't done it for months.  And when she does do it now, she doesn't really require my attention.  So there's a bit of a light for you.

 

As for the nursing to sleep:  As my daughter got older, she stopped being able to fall right asleep to the bottle unless she was really REALLY tired.  So, you may be able to get some more time of nursing to sleep by tweaking your son's nap/sleep schedule.  My daughter dropped to 1 nap at 14 months.  What's your son's nap schedule like?  Does it seem like he might need more/less sleep?

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#7 of 7 Old 07-21-2012, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here. My son is 19 mos. tomorrow and yes, it did turn out to be just a phase...although, it still doesn't work as quickly as it used to. He will fall asleep on the boob now for naps and for bedtime but sometimes it takes a while.

 

It is hard to remember exactly what we did to resolve the situation I wrote about above. It seemed really permanent at the time, but fast-forward 6 months and DS has gone through so many sleeping/nursing/teething/personality phases that they all start to run together when I try to think back retrospectively. Hopefully that gives you some hope when things are feeling really bleak!

 

I think what we did end up doing is that I just stopped trying to fight against his phase. In fact, I've had to really learn to do this through all of my son's phases, typically the ones that I tend to post on MDC about, since that is usually when I'm at my worst! I know what you mean about your baby's cries just breaking your heart. I always struggled with that, and it wasn't until recently that I have tried to hold back a little bit when he cries out for me and have let DH take over just for my own sanity. It is hard though- I always battled with "How much is too much crying?" and I often just wasn't comfortable with any crying at all.

 

Ultimately DS and I were able to get back into a cosleeping routine where he would start the night in his crib (I'd nurse him down until he was asleep, but if he wouldn't fall asleep, he'd go to DH and he'd have to fuss for 5-10 min. while DH walked him to sleep...that was the hard part). If he fussed more than that amount of time, he'd come back to me and I'd nurse him to sleep and usually he'd go for it at that point. Then, within 3-4 hours once he woke up in his crib, we'd bring him into our bed (since at that point we were asleep), and he would just nurse as much as he needed to and I was able to stay more or less asleep. That's how we survived. Throughout the year, I got busier at work and more exhausted at night, and I was pretty much able to nurse in my sleep again, which was fabulous. We are at the point now where we are trying round 2 (or 3?) of nightweaning DS and I've actually had to sleep on the couch since, if I'm around, DS will loudly insist on nursing upon waking up.

 

My DS can be very demanding and sometimes it really wears me down.  But this stage passed, so I'm sure yours will too. I do have different issues now though! I just posted about them a few days ago actually...mainly my son's need to nurse constantly, especially during teething phases (he'll ask every 10 min...)  So, if your LO is anything like mine, he'll pass this phase and things will even out again in a few weeks or so...and then something new may pop up in a few months!

 

I also agree about the nap-dropping thing, though I can't remember exactly when DS did that. I want to say it was sometime around 14/15 mos?

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