Getting ready to have a better sleeper this time around:) Seeking advice/tips! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 06-28-2012, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello mamas,

 

I am 21 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and my son is 26 months old. He was a typical to poor sleeper, depending on your gauge lol He loved nursing and although it's a blur it seems like he became quickly (a few weeks) dependent on nursing to fall alseep. While I know that is normal, he woke every 2 hours or less until 16 months old and napped for less than 30 minutes a time until he was a year. I feel that he was overtired from waking so often for so long and I was definitely upset and drained. At 16 months I contacted a sleep consultant and we gently nudged him toward sleeping longer stretches and not nursing to sleep, although I still nursed him 2-3 times a night until 23 months because I was so tired and didn't believe in crying it out at all. He weaned completely at 23 months when I went out of town for 3 nights and began sleeping 11-12 hours a night no problem.

 

Sooooo, my fear is that I will have the same difficulties with my daughter. I would really like to teach her from the beginning to fall asleep without a boob in her mouth. I still want to exclusively nurse and I don't want to sleep train at all but I really do feel that my son's dependent on drinking milk to fall asleep hampered his ability to get a good nights sleep for a long time. He is a happier kid these days and wakes up happy, which honestly, he NEVER did before. I have no problem nursing her often but I really feel like my son was more just in the "habit" of nursing as he got older, more than really hungry (he was HUGE, chubby and in the 95th percentile). At 9-12 months we were both just miserable. I tried co-sleeping and he seemed so restless and not comfortable at all. I guess I would just like some tips from anyone who maintained a strong breastfeeding relationship with their baby but also managed to get them to sleep longer stretches as they got older ( I am talking latter half of the first year and just some 4-5 hour stretches, not the whole night or anything)

 

Thanks for any ideas you may have and I apologize if my thoughts are a little unclear (pregnancy brain:)


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#2 of 9 Old 06-29-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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Since my son is only 6 months old, I'm not the perfect person to reply--but I'd thought I'd pipe in since no one else has yet.

 

I suggest you get a copy of "The No-Cry Sleep Solution." I've used some of her methods to help my son learn to fall asleep without the boob. He is now sleeping a 5-6 hour stretch at night, when before he was waking every 2 hours. I still comfort nurse him to sleep a lot (I really enjoy those moments) and we cosleep, but he has learned to keep sleeping without nursing and can go to sleep without it sometimes. He is falling asleep right now while I sit next to him typing this. All babies are different, but it's worth a read to see if it could work! 


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#3 of 9 Old 06-29-2012, 09:57 AM
 
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It might not be what you are looking for, but what I would do is stop planning and go with the flow. Do whatever gets you and your family the most sleep.

 

With my first, we had a crib (for the first couple of days), I kept reading, and hoping and praying that his sleep would get better at the 2 mo/ 4mo / 1 year mark or whatever the books were saying.

With my second, I just took dd in my bedroom from the first night, nursed to sleep, let her sleep on me as a newborn everything you're not supposed to do. She was rested, I was rested because I stopped worrying about when / where / how long she was supposed to sleep, dh was very rested as he was sleeping in the spare bedroom and was able to let me nap or sleep in whenever I asked.

The result with both kids was practically the same. At 3, dd still needs nurse at bedtime, but she stopped needing to nurse to sleep at around 1. Ds is perfectly able to get himself ready for bed, brush his teeth, read his own book, although he prefers me to help him and tuck him in.

 

You say your son was dependent on milk to fall asleep. Maybe other moms can correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't all babies dependent on nursing to fall asleep, especially as young infants?

 

See what gets you the most sleep. Maybe co-sleeping? Or separate bedrooms for you and your dh? Or a mattress on the floor?

 

GL
 


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#4 of 9 Old 06-29-2012, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I totally agree that it is normal for babies (especially young ones) to fall asleep at the breast and I am okay with that.

 

I know that people say it is okay but my son seriously did not sleep well when he was waking so often. He would be angry, he would cry a lot when he woke, I had such a hard time transfering him back to his bed...it felt traumatic for both of us. We tried cosleeping in the spare bedroom as a last result but my son woke more often with me there and tossed and turned and cried more as well. I am all for comfort nursing and I loved nursing him to sleep that initial time at night and of course the nightime nursings when he was tiny. By the time he was a 28 pound 1 year old, his night wakings actually prompted us to take him to the hospital because I was sure there must be something medically wrong - he would scream so much and wake up so upset. Nothing was ever found to be wrong with him and once he began falling asleep on his own (after nursing and cuddling), he woke so much less and was less distraught when he woke as well. It felt to me like he was extremely frustrated at not being able to re-create the way he fell asleep and would just nurse long enough to get back to that place and then fall alseep again. He also often woke early in the morning (3:30, 4) and was miserable but too restless to fall back asleep after the up and down all night long. I felt so alone and traumatized by the whole situation for a long time.

 

 

With my daughter, we will be living with family at the beginning and we will likely not have the spare room option and for a lot of reasons I don't feel comfortable cosleeping with my partner and my baby. I do plan to see how things go and of course to nurse on demand and I expect a sleepy baby in the beginnings. I jut know that other people have had success with nursing but then putting a full and content baby in their bed not completely asleep and then falling asleep on their own and would love for that to be a possibility for us.


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#5 of 9 Old 06-30-2012, 05:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callahansmama View Post


 

 

With my daughter, we will be living with family at the beginning and we will likely not have the spare room option and for a lot of reasons I don't feel comfortable cosleeping with my partner and my baby. I do plan to see how things go and of course to nurse on demand and I expect a sleepy baby in the beginnings. I jut know that other people have had success with nursing but then putting a full and content baby in their bed not completely asleep and then falling asleep on their own and would love for that to be a possibility for us.

 

If you plan to nurse and not sleep train, there is a strong possibility that you won't be able to do that. I have not heard of babies being able to fall asleep by themselves unless parents have put a lot of work into it, which is not worth it, imo. Hopefully other posters can disprove my words and give you the reassurance you need that a parent can actually create a good sleeper.

 

I'm sorry you had such a negative experience with your ds's sleep. Believe me, I've been there done that. My personal experience was that as soon as I gave up my ideal of how ds was supposed to sleep and accepted his sleep pattern, everything went (more or less) smoothly. Just wanted to throw that in here, in case you want to consider.

 

Good luck, I sincerely hope you get the answers you are looking for.
 


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#6 of 9 Old 06-30-2012, 06:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callahansmama View Post

Hello mamas,

 

I am 21 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and my son is 26 months old. He was a typical to poor sleeper, depending on your gauge lol He loved nursing and although it's a blur it seems like he became quickly (a few weeks) dependent on nursing to fall alseep. While I know that is normal, he woke every 2 hours or less until 16 months old and napped for less than 30 minutes a time until he was a year. I feel that he was overtired from waking so often for so long and I was definitely upset and drained. At 16 months I contacted a sleep consultant and we gently nudged him toward sleeping longer stretches and not nursing to sleep, although I still nursed him 2-3 times a night until 23 months because I was so tired and didn't believe in crying it out at all. He weaned completely at 23 months when I went out of town for 3 nights and began sleeping 11-12 hours a night no problem.

 

Sooooo, my fear is that I will have the same difficulties with my daughter. I would really like to teach her from the beginning to fall asleep without a boob in her mouth. I still want to exclusively nurse and I don't want to sleep train at all but I really do feel that my son's dependent on drinking milk to fall asleep hampered his ability to get a good nights sleep for a long time. He is a happier kid these days and wakes up happy, which honestly, he NEVER did before. I have no problem nursing her often but I really feel like my son was more just in the "habit" of nursing as he got older, more than really hungry (he was HUGE, chubby and in the 95th percentile). At 9-12 months we were both just miserable. I tried co-sleeping and he seemed so restless and not comfortable at all. I guess I would just like some tips from anyone who maintained a strong breastfeeding relationship with their baby but also managed to get them to sleep longer stretches as they got older ( I am talking latter half of the first year and just some 4-5 hour stretches, not the whole night or anything)

 

Thanks for any ideas you may have and I apologize if my thoughts are a little unclear (pregnancy brain:)

 

I totally hear what you are saying-- I would encourage you to try to watch for sleepiness, and use it to your advantage... ime there is usually, in between each set of nursing times, a 5-10 minute "window" where they are placid, still, and what I would call "primed" to fall asleep easily on their own.  If you begin, around 3-4 weeks, after you get past that initial "sleep-every-waking-minute" time with a newborn, to look for that time where they are primed for sleep.  If you can catch them during that period, and help them... lay them down, or sling them, use a paci (if you do), or rub their little backs... help them to learn to fall asleep during that time.  This is totally possible, and you can do it.  I have with all of ours... hang in there!

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Jess, happy wife to Doug, mom to E (ds10), B (ds8), M (dd6), S (ds4), M (ds2), and a little 2013 valentine (dsT, due 2/18)

I blog at makinghome.blogspot.com

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#7 of 9 Old 06-30-2012, 07:47 AM
 
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It sounds like he may have had reflux or a dairy sensitivity or something else waking him up as you describe the crying. My refluxy son was huge and over ate and also slept poorly. Regardless, all babies are different and you might end up with a sleeper this time. DS2 is seven months and sleeps. He just does without me intervening and I nurse him down every single time. That was a problem for ds1, but not ds2. Last night he slept 10 hours straight waking once to eat and be put back in his crib. I guess what im saying is I wouldn't make myself crazy requiring my baby to fall asleep without nursing unless you end up having issues again. It's so easy to let them all asleep at the breast and so much work trying to keep them up nursing and then get them down another way. If you end up having sleep issues, that's one thing but you might end up with a sleepy baby without having to stress or do a thing.
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#8 of 9 Old 06-30-2012, 08:09 AM
 
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My first (now three) fought sleep, hated sleep, and needed a lot of help falling asleep.  She nursed to sleep until she was 18 months (and then she would just nurse, and decide to not sleep).  I thought it was something we/I had done and was determined not to make the same "mistakes" with my son.  However, he was completely different right from the start....mellow, and a sleeper!  He really helped me realize that I didn't make my daughter a poor sleeper, but was meeting her needs.  I'm guessing you were meeting your DS needs as well, and that no matter how much you plan, you'll end up doing whatever you need to do to meet your new babe's needs too.  Given that, I wouldn't worry about figuring out the perfect sleep plan too much.  Maybe your new babe will be a sleeper!


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Mama to F (3/09) and S (3/11); and never forgetting my babe gone too soon angel1.gif(4/10).

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#9 of 9 Old 07-02-2012, 03:57 PM
 
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From when my DS was about 2 months, we instigated a bedtime routine.  I would nurse him until he was drowsy, then unlatch him, place him in his swaddle then rock him asleep.

 

What this meant was that he did not nurse to sleep, but would be rocked to sleep.  For naps we would rock him to sleep, which came about because I returned to work for 3 months and my DH was at home looking after him.  So he did get used to being rocked to sleep.

 

When he was about 10 months, I discovered I did not need to rock him completely to sleep, rather, I could rock him a little to relax him, then I would lay him down on the family bed, and lay beside him with a hand on him, then sing him to sleep, and to this day - he is now 19 months - this is how he falls asleep. We do nurse as part of our bedtime routine but we don't nurse to sleep.

 

However.....he was also a baby who would wake every couple of hours, and these days will still wake about 3 or 4 times a night.  I honestly believe that their waking at night patterns are a function of their temperament.  We tried the NCSS but his sleeping patterns did not change at all.

 

Good luck...hope you get a "good" sleeper!!


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