Your sleeping baby...an informal poll - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 10-13-2005, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone!

I'm just so curious...

I don't have a ton of baby experience, so when I had my son, I assumed (and was assured by other mothers) that he would grow out of his frequent nightwaking by 3 months or so. Well, it hasn't happened, and during the following months of sleep deprivation I've read ALOT about babies and sleep. I've read about CIO, NCSS, and everything in between. I've panicked about him being sleep deprived, and tried every sort of sleeping scenario, but have finally come to believe that he is just hard-wired to wake and that it is NOT my job to "break" him, but to be there for him when he wakes and guide him back to sleep as well as I can. It is exhausting and frustrating at times, but I also realize that it is a gift I can give him.

Maybe I just want to hear that I'm not alone in my baby's sleep challenges, but I'm really curious how you all would describe your baby while he/she sleeps.

Again, my ds would be:

light sleeper (can wake to a creaky floor board)
short sleep cycles (sleeps 2-3hrs - 3-4 times a night)
active waker (likes to "play" or nurse when up)
power napper (sometimes 20 mins is as good as it gets)

Yours?

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#2 of 20 Old 10-13-2005, 05:53 PM
 
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Sounds like my DS, he's 9 weeks. I think it's pretty normal. How old is your DS?
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#3 of 20 Old 10-13-2005, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oops, I forgot to mention -- he's 7 months.

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#4 of 20 Old 10-13-2005, 06:38 PM
 
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You have described my first born to a T!!!! There were only a few things that helped make it better, not solve it by any stretch of the imagination mind you, but better.

1. White noise. I got a noise maker that played static, waves, rain, etc and that helped drown out the environmental noises that would wake him (i.e. birds, cars starting, dogs barking, doors opening etc.)

2. Blackout curtians. Without total darkness except for a night light he would not go to sleep period.

3. Sleep when he sleeps at least once during the day. This got me a nap to tank me up for the night waking, and helped him sleep a little longer during the day.

4. No talking or eye contact during night waking. A side car and some quiet toys for him to play with if he didn't settle back down. But nothing really helped this until I night weaned him at 17 months.

5. No car rides or quiet activities outside of when I wanted him to nap otherwise he would also power nap!

HTH! Rest assured you little one might just be one of those rare souls that doesn't need as much sleep as the rest of us. Even to this day DS#1 (4 yrs old) doesn't nap. But he is now going to bed at 8pm and doesn't get up until 7:30am with no night waking unless he has a bad dream or is sick! I know it seems like forever from now, but you will make it. In the grand scheam of things this is but a short time.

Blessings,
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#5 of 20 Old 10-13-2005, 08:01 PM
 
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Mine's 7.5 months and very similar to yours:

-very light sleeper (unless I'm holding him then he's much less sensitive)
-had a few weeks where he gave me a 5-6 hours then 2-3 hours - but since he started teething (at 3.5 months) there have only been a handful of those days and he wakes every 2-3 hours
- only wakes to play during the day - at night he wakes crying
- catnaps - unless I'm holding him, then I can get anywhere from 1-3 hours!!

I too read all of the books and they made me absolutely crazy and stressed out. I tried some of the things, but my kid just has his own ideas about where and when he sleeps. I finally decided to just let go. He sleeps when he sleeps. I still try to put him down, and lately have had luck with a pallet on the floor where he will sleep for about 45 minutes. But, I decided I won't start worrying about his sleep until his teeth come in and/or he can communicate his needs better. I'm not about to let him cry, so I just deal! And since I "let go" and fogot about all of the "advice" - I have been so much better!!!
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#6 of 20 Old 10-13-2005, 08:05 PM
 
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I highly recommend an ultrasonic humidifier for the white noise. It really helps my son at naps. He has a hard time sleeping sometimes when it's too light in the room. The fan of the humidifier really helps, and it's good for him to have the humidity too! They're about $50, but you might be able to shope around. Hope this helps!!!

Jodi -full time working wife to a SAH Papa; mama to my boys Breck (12/04), David (09/07), and Elliot (01/10); always remembering our loss, Jordyn Justine (09/06)

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#7 of 20 Old 10-13-2005, 09:43 PM
 
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Mine too! She's 16 months and it only got better once I stopped fighting it. That being said, the older she gets the better she sleeps--not some magic overnight thing, but in general. And I'm getting more rest too. Good for you for realizing this so early.

Even the "Sleep Nazi"--Dr Weissbluth--says temperament affects sleep.

Mine at 6 months was taking 3 irregular 20 min naps, sleeping a 3 hr stretch at night (after one waking an hour after she went down) and then waking frequently the rest of the night. Would not nap without a boob in her mouth.

At 9 months was taking 2 1 to 1.5 hr naps, sleeping about the same at night, but I remember one night she slept 6 hrs. Was napping with me sitting beside her.

At 12 months was down to one nap, about 2 hrs long, and waking hourly at night. Was napping with me sitting beside her.

At 16 months is napping about the same, but sleeping a little better at night, back to her 2-3 hr stretches. Will nap for the first hour alone, sometimes.

In our case, it got worse before it got better. And I expect some backsliding as we move forward. She's always had good day/night cycles, but her bedtime really moves all over the place. I go to bed when she does and read quietly for a half hour and then go to sleep, it's a survival thing!
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#8 of 20 Old 10-13-2005, 09:50 PM
 
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My dd's 10.5 months old, and she's:

short sleep cycles (sleeps 2-3hrs - 3-4 times a night)
active waker (likes to "play" or nurse when up)
power napper (sometimes 20 mins is as good as it gets)

. . . from your list. With the caveat that she will usually go down for about 4 hours at night the first round, but since I never get to bed at the same time, that doesn't count, right?

She's recently started "sleep talking," which is sometimes startling and always hysterical. I think she wakes up just enough to say or do something, then falls right back asleep (like exclaiming "cat!" when the cat jumps on the bed, or sitting straight up, then leaning back against me and falling back asleep sitting up). :LOL
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#9 of 20 Old 10-14-2005, 12:35 AM
 
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Im SO glad to read this post!!!
Tyler is 8 months next week, and you just described him. I was worried something medical was wrong as he can seriously go the entire day on a 20 minute nap... he will wake up about 7 times a night... sometimes not even fully waking up, just wanting a snack.
i was for a while under the impression that i had to alter this... and tried a few things (unsuccessfully), and finally decided, that hes healthy, growing, and happy, im (somehow) getting enough sleep, so im just accepting this behaviour as normal for him, and making it work... im a bit tired, but what mom isnt? lol
the black out blinds have been HUGE for us...
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#10 of 20 Old 10-14-2005, 01:05 PM
 
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this sounds exactly like my almost 6 month old dd, except for the napping....she likes to nap & will nap for 1-1.5 hours 3X a day.

(Ican imagine she'll wake up talkung later on---that sounds like her!)

to the OP you & I sound like we've been on the same journey towards accepting dc's sleep habits & not trying to impose someone else's ideas of ideal sleep.

these days,
I nurse her down @ 7 and she typically wakes at least 5X before I join her at 11, when she will then sleep for 2-3 hour stretches until 7 am.
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#11 of 20 Old 10-14-2005, 01:33 PM
 
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I have a 14 month old whose sleep cycle was about 40 minutes until very recently; now it's about an hour an a half - sometimes. Once she's had several of those cycles at night she can then sleep for a couple of longer stretches of several hours. I nurse her back to sleep about 90% of the time when she wakes up at night; sometimes (rarely) just a little snuggling or a pat on the back will do it if she's not fully awake.
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#12 of 20 Old 10-14-2005, 02:28 PM
 
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oh yes, that was my son too. he's now 2.5 and has moved on to other issues (LOL) but that was him to a T. i couldn't possibly agree more with the white noise thing. that is HUGE. NECESSARY!!! blackout curtains, DEFINITELY. make sure you learn how hot/cold YOUR baby likes to be. Rowan HATES to be hot and will wake up in an instant if he gets too hot. but a little on the cooler side, and he's good to go. everybody is different, just start paying attention to your own child's hot/cold meter, if you aren't already. that can REALLY affect sleep patterns.

when DS was little he had reflux issues so it was NOT a good idea for him to fall asleep right after he ate. now that he's older and his issues have subsided substantially, it's better that he DOES nap right after he eats bc he's full and satisfied. so i'd suggest paying attention to that too...which does your little one prefer?

it will get better, you will learn more and more and more about what your particular child needs to fall and stay asleep. and then it'll change on a dime and you'll have to do the detective work all over again. LOL but it will get better. and you're not alone...in fact, i'd say you're in the majority.

Good luck!!
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#13 of 20 Old 10-15-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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My oldest ds was exactly like that. He pretty much stopped taking naps at 4 months, though. We finally got a stroller and just pushed him back and forth in the living room twice a day when he seemed exhausted. It usually took about an hour of pushing to get him to sleep for an hour of nap. I even asked my dr about it and he said "he'll sleep when he's tired". Hah! He still won't go to sleep easily. He does however stay asleep the whole night most nights (he's 4). I gave up on trying to get him to nap entirely at about 2 years old. It was just too much effort.

He nursed every hour or 2, sometimes for more than 2 hours at a time (partially due to reflux, I think) until he was 11 months old. I was so tired, but he did taper off on his own. I never encouraged weaning at all, he just stopped waking up so much for some reason.

And I strongly second the suggestion to nap with your child if you can. It was the only thing that kept me going.

mom to all boys B: 08/01ribboncesarean.gif,  C: 07/05 uc.jpg, N: 03/09 uc.jpg, M: 01/12 uc.jpg and far too many lost onesintactlact.gifsaynovax.gif

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#14 of 20 Old 10-16-2005, 06:03 AM
 
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All of my babies have gone through all the different variations and stages at some point. b'H.

They're only so little for such a short time ... and you got to sleep so uninterruptedly all those years before, and you will again all those years after ... YKWIM?

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#15 of 20 Old 10-17-2005, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to everyone who posted. There are days when I wonder what I'm doing wrong, as a parent, because my son won't sleep all night and take long naps. To hear that others have babies that are similar -- most of the moms/babies I know around here have much different sleep patterns or did Babywise/CIO.

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#16 of 20 Old 10-31-2005, 11:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mskgandn
light sleeper (can wake to a creaky floor board)
short sleep cycles (sleeps 2-3hrs - 3-4 times a night)
active waker (likes to "play" or nurse when up)
power napper (sometimes 20 mins is as good as it gets)
Same. All my kids were DONE napping by 12-18 months, the youngest was done at 9 months. Nursing has varied with each child from 2-3x/night on up to 10-12x/night and back down again. It seems to go in phases. They all pop wide awake early in the morning (5-6 am) and go to sleep around 8, even as babies. They usually are very light sleepers unless I'm lying very still next to them...it's not easy!...if I roll over in bed my 18mo wakes, but if I'm not next to her she can't sleep...

Anyway, you're not alone.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#17 of 20 Old 10-31-2005, 11:58 AM
 
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My 16 month dd slept better as an infant than she does now. When she was tiny, she would usually only wake twice in the night for about 25 minutes each time.

Now she's up three or four times, sometimes for 40 minutes at a time.

But she does take regular naps! My ds was a 20 minute power-napper. He would nurse for 45 minutes, then snooze in my lap for 20 minutes. Agh.

We darkened ds's room (big towel over the blinds). With the time change, we need to fix dd's room. Her big window gets the morning sun.

We would be lost without white noise! We use a fan in the summer and a humidifier in the winter.
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#18 of 20 Old 10-31-2005, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawson20
the black out blinds have been HUGE for us...
Could you share where you got your black out blinds? Now that daylight savings time is here, it was bright in our room this morning. I have some heavy accordian fold ones that are up in ds's nursery (that he doesn't sleep in) and could use them, but they are awkward. I found some nice shade ones at the Gap before they changed their website and now can't locate them again. But I'd love to know where to find some good, economical ones.

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#19 of 20 Old 10-31-2005, 10:05 PM
 
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"light sleeper (can wake to a creaky floor board)"

My 9-mo-old has brief periods of deep sleep, but he sleeps lightly most of the time. It also varies by time of night. He tends to sleep deeper in the middle of the night (like maybe 1-3), and very light at the start/end.

"short sleep cycles (sleeps 2-3hrs - 3-4 times a night)"

I'd say so. For a while, he would sleep a stretch of 4-5 hours followed by two hour blocks. When he started getting teeth, it went down to all short periods - sometimes 2-3 hours, sometimes even less (she says as she wishes her nips weren't so sore!). He almost always nurses right back to sleep though. Occasionally he'll go back to sleep with just a rub on the back.

"active waker (likes to "play" or nurse when up)"

I'm not sure what this refers to - when they're supposed to be awake or when they wake up during the night. Marcus [luckily] is good about nursing back to sleep when he wakes up. He's better at night than during naptime though. Naps vary considerably.

"power napper (sometimes 20 mins is as good as it gets)"

A few months back, we tried to set him down after he'd fallen asleep on one of us. The most we could get was about half an hour. However, it's different if I stay there with him. He'll often sleep for 60-90 minutes, wake up, nurse back to sleep, and then sleep another hour. Somehow, he knows I'm there, and it makes all the difference.

Mama to Marcus (1/05) and Arianna (3/10). hbac.gif

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#20 of 20 Old 11-01-2005, 12:02 AM
 
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You are not alone and your DS is very "normal" if there is such a thing Aly slept through the night from 2-4.5months but hasn't done it again since and she's 13 months! I don't think its realistic to expect a baby (or toddler for that matter) to sleep through the night. If they do then that's great but if they don't then enjoy them at night as well during the day. They will be all grown up before you know it!
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