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#1 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Please excuse my ignorance, I'm waiting for "No Cry Sleep Solution" from my library - can't wait any longer - thought I would ask for some advice! We used CIO with DD at the suggestion of her ped - I didn't know any better at the time. We don't want to CIO with DS (6 mos old), but I don't know what to do instead!

DS is going down at night after nursing between 7 and 8 pm. He wakes at 11pm, 2am, 4am and 5:30am (for good). I noticed he really wasn't eating much at any of the awakenings, just using it as a tool to go back to bed. We decided to have DH go in to soothe DS with the exception of the 2am feeding (so 11pm and 4am). For the first few nights, it was going great, DH would pat DS's butt a couple times, and he would go right back to sleep. But lately, he has been fighting going back to sleep, and DH is in there 20+ minutes and I usually have to go in too to comfort DD who shares the bedroom and has awakened from DS's crying. I don't think DS knows how to fall asleep on his own - how do we teach him without CIO?!?! Everyone is exhausted here from not sleeping anymore than 2 hours at a time. My patience is shot, DD is cranky all day, DS wants to nap constantly during the day, and I'm afraid DH is going to fall asleep at the wheel during his 80 mile commute. What do we do? I know that CIO is hurtful for all involved, but at least in 3 nights time, everyone was getting some sleep...
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#2 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 10:31 AM
 
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He's way too young to fall asleep - or back to sleep - on his own. For that matter, he's too young to determine that he isn't getting necessary nourishment from the night feedings.

My only advice is to look at your expectations. They seem way out of line with how babies actually sleep.

I'm short on time now, but many Mamas here will be able to paint a realistic picture of natural nighttime parenting... Lurk alot.

GL
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#3 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 10:47 AM
 
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I agree with the pp. Is your intention to have ds sleep through the night? Or to have him only awaken once to nurse? It seems that by trying to get him to go back to sleep without nursing is causing more of a disruption in everyone's sleep than if you just nursed him.

I don't know anything about NCSS, so I can't help you out there. Have you considered co-sleeping with your 6 month old? I have a 9 month old and him waking up 4 times a night is no big deal when I barely wake up to get him latched on. I think we both fall right back to sleep within minutes. Dh doesn't wake up most of the time.

I know it's tough to be tired all day yourself and to also have 2 tired children. Good luck! I hope another mama can give you more advice.
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#4 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We co-slept until DS was 4.5 mos old. DH slept on the living room floor because we have a small bed and he is a big guy. I would have continued to co-sleep if it truly were a "family" bed, but with DH out in another room, it wasn't. I don't expect DS to sleep through the night, but at 6 mos old, I figured he could go longer than 1.5 to 2 hours without eating. Like I said, he wasn't eating, he was latching on and sucking till he was asleep. There was no audible swallowing, and the pattern of sucking was a lot different from when he was actually eating (suck suck suck, stop for 30 seconds, suck suck suck, stop for 30 seconds and so on until he was in a deep sleep). Now when I nurse him at 2am only, he is actually nursing well.
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#5 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 11:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addiesmom
wasn't eating, he was latching on and sucking till he was asleep. There was no audible swallowing, and the pattern of sucking was a lot different from when he was actually eating (suck suck suck, stop for 30 seconds, suck suck suck, stop for 30 seconds and so on until he was in a deep sleep).
.
This is what babies naturally and normally do when they are able.

It's why the AAP recommends using a pacifer at night in the crib to prevent SIDS.

Babies are not supposed to sleep deeply for hours.

I know some perfectly normal children naturally do-- even those in a family bed. But it's not usual, nor is it recommended.

Your baby is completely brilliant- it's societal expectations that need work.
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#6 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 11:11 AM
 
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Have you thought about putting the crib in a side-car position next to your bed? It's what worked for us. I just put the crib up next to our bed and removed the side rail. I rolled up some towels lengthwise and stuffed them in the crack between the mattress and the outside rail so it would push the mattress up flush with our bed. That way we could co-sleep but we all had enough room and I never had to fully wake up to nurse and we all get a good night sleep. Don't know if that would work for you.
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#7 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 11:19 AM
 
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At six months, I don't think I'd stress out too much about a baby learning to fall asleep on his/her own. I understand how you feel, because I've been there. By the time dd was six months, I was so sleep deprived and obsessed with sleep it was insane! I read tons of books (including NCSS...I'll chat about that in a minute) and basically drove myself crazy. At that point, I started rethinking my goals. Instead of my goal being to get dd to do xyz at night, I made my goal that we all got sleep. I need sleep to function, as does my dh and my dd. I stopped worrying about nursing to sleep and got more flexible about where we were sleeping.

I like NCSS because Pantley does talk about "normal" infant sleep patterns (I quote normal because I think sleep patterns probably vary quite widely among babies!). She does give some good ideas on things you can do if you absolutely feel like you need to do some teaching how to fall asleep, etc. Basically you make changes very gradually over a period of weeks or months. Had I actually followed through (which is sooooo hard when you're tired...) I think some of the ideas would have worked, at least in the short term. I say that because as babies grow and learn new skills, get teeth, experience separation anxiety, etc, that stuff causes night waking. That's the ugly little secret of CIO as I understand it...you don't sleep train for a few days and then it's all over forever. You have to retrain every time babies go through developmental changes and meet milestones, or even if you go on a trip and mess up your routine! Mainstreamers don't talk about that, though, do they?? (I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds here...just trying to be honest...I apologize if I'm offending anyone...)

It sounds though that you may be just about at the end of your rope? It also helped me to understand why babies wake at night. I found some good stuff at kellymom.com about baby sleep that helped me to understand that night waking happens, and that babies will sleep longer when they are developmentally ready to do so. FWIW, my dd is 10.5 months and doesn't sleep through the night. We've had our ups and downs. She's working on some teeth right now and it's making her cranky during the day and causing some serious waking during the night. But this too shall pass!

I don't know if that helps. Feel free to pm me if you want to ask any more questions about NCSS.

Take care,
Sheri
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#8 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Becky - Unfortunately, our bedroom is too small for a crib, or a mattress on the floor for that matter. Our 2 bedroom house is rediculously small. I wish it weren't so, but that's our reality.

Sherri - Thanks for your words of encouragement. I AM at the end of my rope. Last night, I slept an hour, then 2 hours, then an hour and a half - for a whopping total of 4.5 hours of sleep! Yippee! I'm so short with everyone I come into contact with, which is out of character for me. And I am seriously concerned about DH driving so much during the day on so little sleep. Maybe I will just continue with nursing him every 2 hours so at least DH can get some sleep. I just thought we were on the right path when DS went right back to sleep after 10 seconds of butt pats from DH. I just don't know how much longer I can do this. I put the milk in the cupboard, lock myself out of the house, forget my purse, forget where I park, lose things - you get the picture.
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#9 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 11:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
My only advice is to look at your expectations. They seem way out of line with how babies actually sleep.

I totally agree. What you have described is totally appropriate for a 6 month old - he is at a time where most babies are going through a major growth spurt so you will see the frequency of nursing go WAY UP for ahile. It will calm down eventually.

Plus you mentioned that he wakes up at 11 - have you ever tired doing a "dream feed" or nursing him right before you go to sleep & not having him wake all the way up? That gave me a jump on a few hours sleep when my dd was that age. If you could figure out a way to make co-cleeping work (bigger bed or just deal w/ DH sleeping elsewhere temporarily) you would probably all get more sleep. My DD still rouses a little bit to nurse some night but none of us really wake up from it.

Shame on your Dr!! If he isn't familiar w/ breastfeeding issues (which it would seem he isn't) he should have referred you to La Leche League or a lactation consultant.

Good luck!
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#10 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 11:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by addiesmom
Becky - Unfortunately, our bedroom is too small for a crib, or a mattress on the floor for that matter. Our 2 bedroom house is rediculously small. I wish it weren't so, but that's our reality.
.

I think most of the world has small living quarters. I am nost sure this is a reason to put babies alone in a different part of the house.

Is there a reason your dh can't continue sleeping elsewhere for a little bit while you tend to the normal and natural needs of your infant for a bit longer?
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#11 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 11:54 AM
 
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Yes I know the small space thing - we are in a 1 bedroom apartment. I remember one of my friends didn't think she could fit a crib in either but she moved out some dressers and end tables and then was able to - basically the room consisted of a bed and a crib - the removed furniture went where the crib had been in another bedroom. Just an idea.
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#12 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 12:35 PM
 
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I would find a way to co-sleep. The waking is normal. The nursing is normal. But it's no big deal when they're next to you.

-Angela
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#13 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 12:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom
I think most of the world has small living quarters. I am nost sure this is a reason to put babies alone in a different part of the house.

Is there a reason your dh can't continue sleeping elsewhere for a little bit while you tend to the normal and natural needs of your infant for a bit longer?
Not only that- but most people DO cosleep because of small living spaces! :LOL


This was what I was going to suggest, too. A 6 month old is really way too young to sleep through the night. (Yes, some do naturally but that's not what we're dealing with) DH is an adult and can make changes MUCH easier than a 6 month old. Maybe if dh would go sleep elsewhere until baby didn't need mama so much in the middle of the night- everyone would sleep better. You can continue to wake up when dc does and nurse back to sleep. No one but you will stir You can also think about moving your other dc to the family bed and give your dh her bed until things settle down.
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#14 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 12:52 PM
 
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Before having my ds I really didn't know what co sleeping was. We just ended up doing it because I would just fall asleep while nursing. A friend then gave me The Baby Book, by Dr Sears and I learned that tere was a name for what I was doing and that it was perfectly normal. I still got some pressure from others but still did what was best for ds and I. He still sleeps with me at 19 months and wakes to nurse. We hardly wake at all and get a great night sleep. Dr Sears and mcd have really helped me learn so much. Lots of lurking here.
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#15 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 02:02 PM
 
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In NCSS, one of her techniques is to use the "Pantley Pull-off" to get the babe used to being taken off the breast. Gradually, you do the pull-off earlier and earlier during the nursing until the babe can get used to coming off the breast before being totally asleep. I would suggest you start there, since you mention that your ds doesn't seem to be actually swallowing during his suck-to-sleep time. It's a long process, so my other advice would be to talk to dh and delay his return to the bed (if you both feel uncomfortable sharing the bed with your ds). My husband is currently sleeping in the guest room with our two dogs and we all get a lot more sleep due to being flexible about our sleeping arrangement. We figure that we've been sleeping together for 10 years, so taking one year to ensure better sleep for us all isn't such a big deal, since we plan to be together for many more decades.

Really, I think one of the biggest challenges in dealing with infant sleep and not doing COI is to realize that we as adults should be the ones to modify our habits, not expect our babies to be mini-adults.

Since you are still waiting for your copy of NCSS, you can read a bunch of excerpts from the book at www.pantley.com. Here is the link for the Pantley Pull-off. Keep in mind though, that NCSS is a long-term plan...not a 3 night solution.

http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth/con.../frequentw.htm

Hope this helps,
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#16 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll just say it - we are no longer going to co-sleep. I'm so jealous of people that have the room and personalities to do it, but it just wasn't working for us for several reasons: DH is 6'4" and was sleeping on a flimsy blow-up camping mattress on the living room floor. He was uncomfortable to say the least. He will not fit into DD's bed - we tried, and it was worse than the floor. Crib will not fit into our room, if we move the bed over to accomodate the crib, we will be unable to open the closet doors. We have no other furniture in there to move out - there is no room for it, we installed a built-in closet for this exact reason. Even when DS was in bed with me - I wasn't sleeping much. He quite literally was latched on from the time I snuck in bed at 10:30pm till 6am. I was so sore from laying on my side that I ended up at the chiropractor's office more than once. So not only was I sleep-deprived, but in physical pain. We tried for almost 5 months - it didn't work for us. I'm a little peeved that I feel the need to apologize for it.

Please understand - I don't expect DS to sleep through the night. I never said that - but I thought nursing every 1.5 to 2 hours at 6 mos was a little much. Guess I was wrong - good to know at least.
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#17 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 02:29 PM
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Babies get about 25 to 30% of their nutrition at night and even if he doesn't nurse for a long time that doesn't mean that he isn't getting a lot of milk, he is probably more efficient at nursing during that time and your milk is more plentiful towards the early morning so it doesn't take as long to get enough. Having said that though, he may waking up because he is cold and putting him in bed in a sleeper with feet and then covering him up may keep him warm and help him sleep longer. If you can afford it a futon in his room may be a good investment because you can lay on it and nurse him and maybe fall asleep on it if you are really tired, that way you all get the sleep you need. I understand that many families view the husbands need for a sleeping partner as more important than the child's but maybe you could sleep half the night with your husband and then if you fall asleep nursing your child on the futon he will not be so jealous. The baby is the smaller and more needy one and your husband is probably old enough to understand this. Besides if you are tired from lack of sleep you are probably going to be to tired for action with your husband so sleeping with the baby in a seperate bed may help your patience and sex life.
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#18 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 02:36 PM
 
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[QUOTE=addiesmom]I'll just say it - we are no longer going to co-sleep. <snip> I'm a little peeved that I feel the need to apologize for it.[QUOTE]

No need to apologize. I can only speak for myself, but I think I misunderstood your original post. You said that you would keep cosleeping if you and your family could do a true family bed. So I got the impression that co-sleeping was something you still desired to do. I think that the pps are just trying to give you some ideas on how to change your perspective or habits to accomodate your dc's waking and continue co-sleeping.

I agree with you that co-sleeping is hard on the body and that is why my ds and I only co-sleep for part of the night.

The general advice that I've always gotten on this site is: do what works for you and your dc, but, in reality, there is no quick fix for night-waking. Co-sleeping makes it easier to handle. NCSS gives some ideas to cut down the night-waking. And most people here believe that CIO is only a temporary fix, so that won't do it either. Most of us come here for support and are determined to let our dc's tell us when they are ready to sleep through the night. I don't have another child, so I can't imagine how much harder it must be with two.

Good luck and I hope you find a gentle solution that works for you,
mskgandn

Good luck.
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#19 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 02:56 PM
 
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Maybe putting dd in bed with dad and you take dds bed for a little bit would be a help?
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#20 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Affording the futon wouldn't be the issue - again, it is the space. The kids room is 9x10 and there is hardly room for the crib, my daughter's bed and a clothes dresser. My room is even smaller.

Please please please understand that I am not talking about "sleeping through the night". I don't expect him to do that. I just thought he was old enough to go several hours before waking to eat again. Currently, he is waking, nursing for 1/2 hour or so until he is in a deep sleep again, then wakes after sleeping about an hour and a half, sometimes 2 hours (although, sometimes just an hour). From what I am gathering from PPs, this is completely normal, so I guess I just have to adjust my expectations and accept that he needs to eat 5-6 times between the hours of 8pm and 6am. My original thought was that he is a light sleeper and can't put himself to sleep if the slightest thing wakes him (ex: if I put him in his crib before he is in a deep sleep, he will stir and start to fuss and cry - so I have to nurse him for another stint before he falls back to sleep), I guess I was wrong.
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#21 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 03:27 PM
 
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I just wanted to say I was in your shoes only a few months ago. I felt insane form the lack of sleep and couldn't take it any more. Nothing was working and we couldn't bear to do CIO. So we just stuck through it and around 9 months, dp began putting him to sleep. He would be in charge for 6 hours. After that ds slept so much better. He began being able to put himself back to sleep-most of the time-and sleep for longer stretches.

I just hope you can hang in there until your babe is a little older. I bet it will get easier to soothe him to sleep besides nursing.

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#22 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 04:17 PM
 
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When my twins were between 5 and 6 months they started waking hourly. For 3 weeks I got no sleep. I had been rotating cosleeping with them but it wasnt working out. So this is when we stopped cosleeping.
But I agree with the PP that states that it is our habits and expectatoins that need to change, while the baby is allowed to mature at his own pace.
When I get as sleep deprived as you describe (and I have, many many times. Including falling asleep at teh wheel at least once) I arrange a "sleep day" for mommy. What that means is that on Dh's day off. (Saturday in our house) DH takes care of the children and only brings the infant in to me when he or she has to nurse (really has to) and I sleep until I am rested. Once it took a Saturday and a Sunday for me to get caught up. But I was able to start out on Monday fully well rested and able to face several nights of 3-4 hours total sleep before becoming chronically sleep deprived again.

I also want to add, 6 months is a very common time for frequent night waking. Many babies who slept better at 4 months do start waking hourly at 6 months. SO it is actually not that he should be able to sleep longer by 6 months. But that even if he had been able to, for whatever reason right now he is not.

After you have caught up on your sleep you will be able to see the situation much more clearly and perhaps even see more possible solutions.
Good luck
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#23 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addiesmom
Please understand - I don't expect DS to sleep through the night. I never said that - but I thought nursing every 1.5 to 2 hours at 6 mos was a little much. Guess I was wrong - good to know at least.

I hope you haven't been to discouraged by the responses. Co-sleeping is ideal for many reasons, but obviously it isn't going to work for every family. It seemed like in your original post that you were hoping that someone would respond & say that cio is ok if that's what works for you - I hope I'm wrong, but I do know that desparate feeling of being so exhausted that I wanted some one to tell me it was ok to do that - even though I knew it was WRONG! And I got through it & it was tough, but it didn't last forever!


I hope you are able to get some rest (I don't remember if you mentioned whether you SAH or not) maybe during the day when he is napping? And that you & your husband get to spend some special time together - sometime it was a little break or something special that gave me the boost I needed to get through those no sleep months! In the big scheme of things- it is such a short time that a few years from now you will barely remember how tired you were!! Good luck & I hope you find some ways to get through it & get rested
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#24 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Kate - I wasn't looking for someone to tell me that CIO was okay, I was hoping someone would have some suggestions of how either I, or DH, could soothe DS back to sleep without nursing, because the nursing every 1-2 hours was taking a toll on me.

As for napping when he naps - I would, but DD, who is 3, no longer naps.
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#25 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 04:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by addiesmom
Hi Kate - I wasn't looking for someone to tell me that CIO was okay, I was hoping someone would have some suggestions of how either I, or DH, could soothe DS back to sleep without nursing, because the nursing every 1-2 hours was taking a toll on me.

As for napping when he naps - I would, but DD, who is 3, no longer naps.
Ah, I see. Well, I know it's exhausting, but @ 6 mths - that really is what he needs to do. Hang in there!!!
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#26 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 04:53 PM
 
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please dont be discouraged by some of the responses! i think people get a little defensive here because it seems like the entire world is judging us for not using CIO, and its lalmost an instictive response for some of us to get a little defensive. or at least to sound that way in their posts (you can never really judge tone on a message board lol). ANYWAY- i totally hear you. it sucks waking up 100 times a night. its miserable and it messes with your daytime life.

NCSS was too involved for me when im tired. i have gone through periods of utter despair since ds was born, as well as periods of acceptance and periods of gratitude when it seemed he was waking less, or at least nursing for shorter periods. i HATE nightime marathon nursings.

i WISH i knew a way to gently help babies self soothe themselves to sleep. the only suggestion i could think of for you was to buy 2 twin mattreses, and put dh on a twin in dd room and yourself on a twin in your room with the baby in the crib- that way you are in close enough proximity that you dont have to trudge down the hall all night. and oh yea the pantley pull off does work wonders in the long term.

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#27 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=homemademomma]please dont be discouraged by some of the responses! i think people get a little defensive here because it seems like the entire world is judging us for not using CIO, and its lalmost an instictive response for some of us to get a little defensive. or at least to sound that way in their posts (you can never really judge tone on a message board lol). ANYWAY- i totally hear you. it sucks waking up 100 times a night. its miserable and it messes with your daytime life./QUOTE]

Thank you for your warm response!

The "messes with your daytime life" is my biggest concern. It seems like the more I night-parent my DS, the quality of my DD's day-parenting goes down! I feel so badly for her, I used to be such a fun mommy. I try so hard to be patient with my non-stop strong-willed 3 yo DD, but with a total of 5 hours of sleep spread out over 3 short intervals, I just end up being a miserable mom.
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#28 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 09:56 PM
 
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Just when you think your child will never sleep again, they change and sleep fine. This stage will pass.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
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#29 of 107 Old 11-02-2005, 10:05 PM
 
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6mos sucks. did for DS...all of our previous strategies just stopped working. stayed that way until around 7mos or so. 6mos is just a notoriously HORRIBLE time for sleeping. could he be teething?
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#30 of 107 Old 11-03-2005, 01:46 AM
 
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Oh mamma
My ds is 6 months and this is his sleep schedule down at 8, up at 9, up at 11, up at 12:30, up at 2, up at 3, up at 4:30 and up at 6 for the day. This has been going on for a week now. So needless to say I feel your pain. I too have been having a rough go of it but I try to keep in mind that ds has started solid food, learned to sit, learned to roll back to front, learned to play peek a boo by himself, and is working on crawling....ALL this week!!!! No wonder his sleep is wonky...his whole little world is wonky right now. I don't co sleep with my son and I definately don't let him cry it out either. I get up, go to the couch, feed him till he is back alseep and put him back in his bed. The nights are very long. You CAN get through this. This is normal for your babe....he will get over it, don't worry, he won't be 19 and getting up in the middle of the night
Hope my story helps, try to keep your spirits up!
Vanessa

Vanessa belly.gif, wife to Kev , mama to Byron (5) wild.gif and Billie (2) and  due in June
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