I've posted here in the past up nighttime wakeups with my babes. Finally on child three I made an accidental discovery that immediately increased their sleep spans. I feel sort of silly, but here it is. I wasn't drinking enough water.
My son was still waking up much and I was at wit's end. I prayed and even had other people praying for a solution. A few weeks went by and a friend asked if I wanted to join a challenge she set up to get herself to drink the recommended eight 8 oz glasses of water a day. I knew I needed to be better about that so I signed on and started drinking 64 ounces a day. Within about two days Jonah went from waking every 1-2 hours (and sometimes staying awake at 3 am!) to waking every 3 hours and going immediately back to sleep after nursing. Then came every four hours. Then six hours and even one eight hour stretch! It was wonderful! He had been hungry! I was not increasing solids for him at this time- just my own water intake.
Then I missed a day on the water challenge and lost. I started getting sloppy about keeping up with my water. Bad habits crept back in and soon he was waking frequently again. I tried to drink enough water but didn't really keep track like I did before. So I made one of those little movie-style bargains with God and said that if he went back to longer stretches I would share this solution with online moms- the same moms that I always go to for help- maybe I could help back.
Well, I started tracking my water intake and sure enough- his sleeping improved again! So here I am fulfilling the promise to post about this.
It's been amazing. And I just can't believe the answer was so simple.
As a side note, I do not cosleep. I coslept with dd2 but not with this baby. Not sure if that would make a difference for anyone, but wanted to let you know.
Blessings on your nighttime parenting, everyone :)
I am going to have to give this a try. My 10-month old is waking every two hours and it is starting to wear on me. She used to give me at least one 4-hour stretch at night but not anymore. When she was just born I was drinking TONS of water but have since been slacking..oops I also wonder if it has something to do with nursing her in bed. We cosleep and for the first few months, whenever she would need to nurse at night I would get out of bed, change her diaper, nurse her on the couch until she fell asleep, then we'd go back to bed. Back then she would sleep a 4-hour stretch and then wake every 2-3 hours until morning. Once we mastered nursing lying down it has been an all night milk buffet.
I can't wait to try this! It's healthy for everybody. On an added note, sometimes my DD has these marathon midnight nursing sessions and just can't seem to drop back off to sleep. When I remember to offer her water in a sippy cup, she gulps it down and often goes back to sleep much faster. The kid's just thirsty! Now to teach her to grab the cup herself and not wake Mama...
Thanks for posting - hope things continue to go well!