So desperate for sleep..... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-22-2013, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I am at my wits end with my 10 month old and so exhausted I'm just happy to have kept everyone alive at the end of the day. This little boy hates sleep!  He slept in bed with me till about 5 months old, when he discovered he could wake up at night and roll around. After two incidents of him rolling off the bed ( my husband cannot sleep on his other side...he's too heavy of a sleeper to be with the baby...) we moved him to his crib. All was okay with him waking to eat every 3-4 hours...I was fine with that. About a month ago, he started waking every 1-2 we moved him to a pack and play near my bed. Now he has added to the  waking every 1-2 with waking up at 2am and not falling asleep gain till 4 or 5, then up for the day at 6!!! (He goes to bed at 7pm)


I feel so bad, I just let him cry from 3-4 (with me here next to him) because I just couldn't do it anymore. If I pat his back or rub his back, he yells. If I nurse him, he sits right up and tries to play, pull his sisters hair, etc.Rocking is out of the question, he arces his back and tries to get awayy....if I walk him he just wants to look around and talk. I got so mad tonight I had to just step away..I found myself saying very mean things to him.  


I cut back on night time nursing a few days ago to see if that helps, so now he's nursing at 7pm, 1am, and 6am. I am on an elimination diet right now on top of being a vegetarian, so I'm starving to try and figure out if it's something I'm eating. The doctor completely blew me off. He only naps about 2 hours a day...We have the same issue with naps....I have to really force him to sleep, he wakes every few minutes and I have to work to get him back to sleep.


I feel bad letting such a little one cry, but I don't know what else to do....Any great ideas out there?!


This is probably a totally incoherent message, but 15 minutes after he fell asleep, he's standing here yelling at me again. I'm going to lose my mind here!

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#2 of 6 Old 01-22-2013, 07:25 AM
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I hear the stress you're experiencing in your post. How you're feeling is totally normal. DC1 didn't sleep for what felt like 4 years. I was also on an elimination diet (turns out she was and still is allergic to dairy and tree nuts). I was only eating range fed turkey, rice pasta, millet & olive oil. She also didn't nap unless I was holding her. The first year was really, really rough, so I know what you're going through.


We bought the Humanity Family Sleeper and it helped A LOT. This way DD was able to sleep with us and nurse when she needed to. There was no way she was going to sleep anywhere other than next to us because we didn't want to let her CIO. For the first 8 weeks of her life we took turns holding her in a glider. It was hard, but it paid off.


I don't have any stellar advice, but I wish I did. All I can suggest is to try something like the Humanity Family Sleeper so that he can be in bed with you. I know you said that he still wakes up and wants to play or roll around, but that phase will pass. It seems like it won't, but it will. I wish I could go back to those struggling times and know what I know now. I think I would have been a lot more grounded and in the present moment vs. thinking that phase was never going to end.


Hang in there. It will get better with time.

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#3 of 6 Old 01-22-2013, 04:31 PM
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I feel your pain, my sweet lil' daughter is the same age as your son and is doing almost exactly the same thing. The differences are that we haven't stopped co-sleeping and she's my only child so far. I understand that two kids increases your work four-fold! Are you working a job on top of mom duty?  Your hubby really needs to take a night shift with his son and give you a break. Does he take a bottle? You sound like you're at your wits end and really need some uninterrupted sleep. I insisted on this when I lost my patience with my baby begging her to just go toooo sleeeeeeep!!!!!! One nights good sleep made all the difference. You need to figure out a system with your husband so that you don't end up completely losing your mind. You've been doing this for a month and sound completely depleted! It's not good for you or your family dynamic to be stretched so thin, you're only need sleep.


You should definitely not be starving yourself, especially since you are breastfeeding. This, on top of no sleep, is not helping you in your ability to cope with your kids. I understand you want to try to figure out if something you are eating is keeping him up, but it sounds like you eat a very clean diet. I avoid caffeine, sugar, and foods that may cause gas as those things would keep me up at night, never mind my baby. It's awful that your doctor is blowing you off! Does he/she not support your parenting style? Maybe look around at other docs in your area to see if you can find one who is more supportive.


I think the issue with your baby is much like mine. She's teething, and instead of crying all night long she tries to distract herself by practicing all of her new skills. I give her teething tabs and I drink chamomile tea. It helps, but if she gets up anyways I know that it's because she's uncomfortable and I'm lucky she's not fussy. This is an exciting time in our babies lives, they are developing new skills and are more aware of their surroundings. Our little go-getters need time to get through this stage, and we moms need support and space to get some zzzz's so we can handle this challenging period. 


Returning to co-sleeping by placing your mattress on the floor is another idea, but as I said before, we co-sleep and my baby still gets up. And when she wakes up wanting to play, that's it until she knocks off. I'm told this will pass, so in the meantime we had to develop a strategy that helped me get sleep so I could handle the fact the I can't force my baby to sleep, and we won't use the cry-it-out methods. I just got the book, "The No-Cry Sleep Solution", and hope it helps. I don't engage with her at night, but I do enjoy her sweet chatter as she flips her head around absorbing the shadows of our room as I walk her around in the dark.


It's really hard, this crazy stage, but much more doable and enjoyable with support from family and friends. Wishing you well!

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#4 of 6 Old 01-24-2013, 09:31 AM
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10 months was the worst! And I always had a good to reasonable sleeper. She would give me one hour blocks at least, often three or four hours but 10-11 months was absolute insanity! She stopped napping!!! We were able to help that by installing blackout drapes to make her room super dark during the day and putting a fan on for white noise. She still resisted napping for a while but it went from impossible to merely difficult to get her down.
At night she'd be up every 1 to 2 hours and at 2am wouldn't go back to sleep until 4 or 5 am and then be up by 6 or 6:30. She was in a crib in her own room (DH's epilepsy means no cosleeping in our bed) and I would go in and nurse her in the recliner. On bad nights I'd often sleep there with her but when she wouldn't go back to sleep, I was stuck. So I would lay down on the floor with the nursing pillow and let her crawl and play and whatever until she was done and asked to nurse again. It meant I wasn't sleeping for 2 to 3 hours but at least I was comfortable, laying down and she wasn't crying. It sucked but it was a phase. I don't know if that helps. I was ready to tear my hair out and confiding in anyone was just an invitation for CIO talk and me feeling judged/attacked. After she started walking, things improved significantly and by 18 months she was down to one wakeup! All that is out the window now that she's getting her two year molars but at least at (almost) 22 months, a bad night is 3 wakeups in 11 hours and a bad day is a 45 minute nap. Hang in there! This is a super rough age as much for him as for you. Keep following your instincts but be careful not to give him attention in his crazy night-party time. I literally closed my eyes and just laid there. Eventually it will pass and you will realize that he simply had so much going on that he didn't know how to shut down. He is not doing this on purpose and you are a very loving mother for trying so hard to meet his needs. Having said that, if you feel on the brink of losing it, close the door and take a few minutes to calm down. Yes, he will cry but it will just be the confusion of "where did mom go?" not him being scared of you. You are doing amazing and a night of peace and rest would do you wonders. I'd even check into a hotel and let dad sort it out for one night. It might be rough on dad and kiddos but you could come back refreshed and ready to take on the kids again while he sleeps it off the next day.
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#5 of 6 Old 01-28-2013, 03:10 PM
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OP, I'm in the same boat. Except mine is every hour.

The family bed isn't working for us, and we all need to do what we need to do...mine cries regardless between 330-430, right next time. I pick him up and walk with him, often to no avail.

People will self righteously say "oh, letting them cry is cruel" and to that I say 1. Come over and take my shifts 2. I'm not " letting him" - he's crying on me, next to me, walking with me, in the car at 2am w doesn't matter. 3. Teaching a baby how to sleep gently but consistently and enduring tears is a hell of a lot better than endangering your mental and physical health, which is exactly what sleep deprivation does. I defy anyone to argue with that basic fact. If you have older siblings, as I do, it's also not fair for their sleep to be disturbed night after night and also have a mom who isn't at her best (not remotely) because she is never able to fully rest.

We gently taught our now 5 year old to sleep attempting the no cry, and there were plenty of tears. Babies cry - it's what they do!! To expect them not to use their primary method of communicating is unrealistic. I've read each book, and I don't advocate cry it out. But I also don't advocate parents falling to pieces in order to maintain a strictly AP "acceptable" lifestyle.

I feel for you, and hope you can find some peace about this soon.
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#6 of 6 Old 01-28-2013, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the support. It really helps put things in perspective. We were able to get rid of that long stretch, but we still are up often. I took him back to bed a bit, then if he won't settle I put him back in the pack and play. He has started having a very obvious fit though lol! I feel terrible but if I was watching from above its a bit funny. As soon as we start the bedtime routine he's trying to get away from us...When he wakes up and I go to put him back to sleep, he throws himself backward, kicks his feet and yells at the top of his lungs! My DH is in his last semester up all night already with homework...he would settle him for the first part of the night when he was in the crib, but not now that he is right next to me in the pack n play. SO we worked out a deal where I get to sleep in Saturday. 


I ended up bringing my 4 year old back to my bed to since I'm so tired and dealing with her cranky brother during the day, and she is a crazy sleeper. Just gotta remind myself I'll miss these antics...



I am totally jealous of moms with like 3 lil ones, she's all  cheery and energetic and the kids SLEEP and PLAY instead of fighting to stay up and hanging on mama lol! Got my new sling the other day and man my back hurts haha! No more babies for me....I'd really lose it lol!

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