Please help me understand and cope with my DS's sleep problems - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-04-2003, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I just read abigailvr's post and it sounded exactly like my situation -- even down to the age of my DS (7 months). But I wanted to start a new thread so I don't hijack hers and also so that I can get some advice specific to my DS.

For the past week or two he has been sleeping worse and worse. He used to wake up every couple of hours and nurse back to sleep. Now it seems he wakes every hour, nurses and then wakes again when I roll away. I can't see the clock in the dark so I don't really know how often this is going on, but last night I felt like he was lying next to me awake and wiggling (kicking and scratching me) almost the whole night. Around 5:45 he was completely awake and I had to rock him to sleep and then let him sleep on my chest till I had to wake up at 6:30 to go to work. Those 45 minutes were the best sleep I got all night! But moments before the alarm went off he woke up fussing -- I had to leave him with DH while I took a shower and when I came back he was crying for me.

He seems super clingy the last couple of days, especially at night. We put him down for the night around 7:30 or 8 and he'll sleep for about 45 minutes to an hour, then wakes up. Usually the first time we can rock him back to sleep and put him down again. After that he'll fall back to sleep but if we put him down he wakes up immediately crying.

We've been trying suggestions from Pantley off and on for a month. We've been doing the bedtime ritual. For a little while we tried putting him down when he was sleepy but not fully asleep, but that didn't work at all.

I thought I needed to change his nightwaking, cut it down to a few times a night, but now I'm thinking I could live with the nursing every hour if in between he would just lay still and let me sleep.

I read in Dr. Sears that crying, irritability, and nightwaking can be caused by food allergies and I'm starting to wonder about that. He's only had a few solids and they were all on the list of "least likely to cause allergies" (bananas, sweet potatoes, apple, teething biscuit are the things he's had in the last week), but I think we'll stop all solids for a couple of weeks and see if that helps.

Any other suggestions?
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#2 of 6 Old 02-04-2003, 04:02 PM
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The food allergy suggestion is good.

Also, what about teething? DD has been teething for a while, the symptoms have gradually been getting stronger. She's been nursing alot more frequently at night.

Could it be a developmental stage? Is your son getting ready to crawl?

Maybe it's the "clinginess" phase. Our DD is starting to show some signs of "wanting mommy": sometimes when she gets tired or it's later in the evening, just recently she's been showing a strong preference/desire to be with me, not DH or grandma. I know that many babies go through stages like this so I think it's just a normal thing for her, and it doesn't happen all that often yet.

We're fortunate though, that our sleep is not being disturbed significantly by any of this, so I have much sympathy for you. I hope "this too shall pass" occurs soon for you!

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#3 of 6 Old 02-04-2003, 04:52 PM
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I don't have any grand advice for ya but what the other's recommended sounds good. I am going to try a bedtime routine (though we do have somewhat of a routine going) and I 2nd the idea of looking into some type of food allergy. (Maybe I should too)

So...not to thread nap, I wish you the best! Maybe I'll start another thread about this type of waking in a 2 yr old (toddler age)

Lisa ~ Homeschooling mama to 9yo ds and 7yo dd both born at home and expecting #3 in November!
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#4 of 6 Old 02-05-2003, 08:42 AM
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It is normal for babies who slept well to change later.

It is normal for content babies to suddenly need to be held more and loved more, and to want to be held all the time and nurse all night or day.

At first I was thinking "growth spurt" since my baby had those at any time with the behavior you described (even as a toddler.)

But then you said a couple weeks and I thought maybe teething. Teething really hurts! And can go on for weeks.

Good idea to eliminate the solids too see if that's the connection.

I agree it could also be a normal developmental phase. It could be illness. It could be stress from a change in the family routine. Babies learning a new skill like crawling sometimes practice in their sleep and wake themselves up.

The advice to put a baby down sleepy but not asleep....NEVER worked for my breastfed baby. And you said he slept best while touching you, while on your chest. That need for human contact is normal.

This too shall pass!

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#5 of 6 Old 02-05-2003, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for replying! I just needed some support, I guess. I am also working on changing my attitude so that I don't get so frustrated at DS for not letting me sleep enough. I know it is normal for babies to go through these kinds of changes, and it is just our society telling us it is not normal, that babies should sleep through the night.

Last night he was (sort of) back to his normal sleep pattern -- waking often to nurse but at least then falling back to sleep and laying still, not kicking and scratching me. But he still didn't want to be put down until I came to bed. My husband and I had to take turns letting him sleep on us from 7 to 9 and then he slept in the cosleeper till 10 then on top of me till 11, then after that next to me nursing 3 or 4 times until I woke up. Still a lot of waking up, but much better than the previous night!

I have considered teething. He has two bottom already but I think may be getting one or 2 more on the sides of those bottom ones. I did try giving him some tylenol before bed last night, but I don't know if that's what helped and I certainly don't want to give him tylenol unnecessarily. I have tried some homeopathic teething remedies and they seem to help during the day if he's getting cranky but not with the sleep at night, so I'm not sure how to know if teething is really the issue. We thought he started teething at 3 months, but the teeth didn't come until 5 months -- so they're quite slow to come out (or we're misreading the signs of teething).

He is about to crawl (we hope!). At least he is getting up in the crawling position, and then bellyflopping, ending up farther away from the desired toy than he was to begin with. Very frustrating for him. I didn't realize this kind of development could interfere with sleep -- how does that work?
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#6 of 6 Old 02-05-2003, 01:36 PM
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Well, I have coslept with all 5 of my kids, currently cosleeping with 2 little ones. Most of our nights are very restful, but on occasion I have found a few things to give a little problems. One is teething. I saw another mom mention this. I think it seems to hurt a bit to nurse so they nurse more frequently but for shorter periods. Teething never seems to last very long for us, and I just try to make up for lost sleep by taking it easy around the house the next day, or by taking a nap in the afternoon with baby. I have also noticed, that if I have any I mean ANY caffiene even hours before bed my kids go nutty. One night my kids bought some Coke (I don't usually have soda in the house) and I let myself have one figuring it wouldn't matter too much since it was early..Ha! Both babies were up forever jumping and rolling and going crazy. I learned my lesson. One experience I had with sleep problems at night concerned my milk supply. It was great all day, but at night when my drinking slowed down, so did my milk supply. My daughter didn't like sucking and getting no milk, so she would fuss and cry and nurse only short ammounts of time because she would run out of breastmilk only to wake again hungry a short while later wanting more. I solved this problem by bringing a couple of glasses of water to bed at night and drinking them throughout the night. That completely solved the problem. Now with 2 nursers in bed at night, I do the same thing. I have a 2 yr old and an 11 month old who nurse at night. I definitely notice that they get fussy if I run short on milk. Hope my experiences help a bit.
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