Can anyone tell me why? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 02-11-2003, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For the last couple of weeks my 21 mo dd is sleeping very fitfully, nursing constantly through the night, every hour if not more, and she will wake up for
2-4 hours at a time, wanting to nurse the entire time, rolling around in bed, reciting the new words she knows, fading in and out of sleep...she is getting her eye teeth in, granted, but she isn't upset at night, except when I try to change her diaper...so I don't think the teeth are causing her to wake up..although of course i could be wrong.. :

So my question is... what is going on??? Is this a normal occurence at this age? Is it a growth spurt? A developmental milestone thing? Anyone else go through this? Why on earth is she nursing so much? I read awhile ago that the second half of the second year they nurse like newborns, but sheesh! I guess I thought it would be during the day...silly me.

Anyone?

~Holly
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#2 of 9 Old 02-11-2003, 10:34 PM
 
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After a month of this myself I am finding that a change in how much sleep my son needs is the answer. I'm having to be careful that he doesn't nap too much or too late or I have a night of constant nursing, wet diapers and grouchy mean mama.
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#3 of 9 Old 02-11-2003, 10:34 PM
 
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It could be teeth. It could be all those new words she needs to practice. Her subconscious is working on her language skills day and night. It could be a growth spurt. It could be a virus of some kind is coming on, and her system knows lots of mommy milk and antibodies are needed.

But if it is hunger, do you let her have a snack just before bed? Something real nutritious. Applesauce and a piece of cheese was a favorite of one of mine. Or a bowl of cereal. Or pita with hummus, etc. Or have a sip cup of water and a simple snack on the bedside table, in case she needs something substantial in the middle of the night. Toddlers can avoid eating during the day b/c they are so busy "playing" (doing the work of childhood).
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#4 of 9 Old 02-11-2003, 11:54 PM
 
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My 16 month old goes through this everytime she gets teeth. It can be soooooooo frusterating. I think the snack is a good idea, if you can be that organized - I rarely am, though during the hour or more waking nights we do that. It seems like, even though the teeth don't hurt her so much that she needs pain relief, she seems to get very restless. Sometimes the homeopathic remdies work better for this symptom than tylenol etc. I'm very tired too, I feel your pain.
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#5 of 9 Old 02-12-2003, 03:58 AM
 
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Holly - We are going through this right now. Ds is almost 21 months, and ever since Christmas his sleeping has been pretty erratic. I mean, he always has woken every 2-4 hours, but normally he would just nurse for a few minutes (or ds would walk him) and he would be right back asleep. But at least 3-4 nights a week now he wakes up every 10 minutes, wants to nurse (or play with my nipple) constantly, crawls onto my head, kicks, thrashes back and forth, et.c, and this will go on for hours. I tend to really lose my cool those nights, saying things I regret in the morning.

Anyway, I don't know if it is teething or what. I've been giving him teething tablets, but if tonight is like last night (pure hell), he is getting a dose of Tylenol. I am very stingy with any medication, but I'm half out of my mind with lack of sleep and frustration, so some medication, even if it turns out to be unnecessary, has got to be better than an out of control mommy at this point.

Sorry I don't have any solution for you. Just wanted you to know that you're not alone.
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#6 of 9 Old 02-12-2003, 09:54 AM
 
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I'm glad to see I'm not alone either. Dd is 21 mo and nurses like a newborn (or more) at night and always has, but not quite as much during the day. We always think it's teething, but I really am starting to doubt that she can have teething pain so often. Having short naps doesn't seem to help her any, but it does make the latter part of the day pretty miserable. I'm reading "Is this your child" hoping to find some obscure allergy that will fix it all Other than that, dh and I are just trying to stay sane.

I would love to have the answer!
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#7 of 9 Old 02-12-2003, 05:03 PM
 
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ugh, my son is 13 months, and this is what i get to look forward to!! i thought it would get a bit easier...!
he takes decent nap during the day--2hrs on a good day--but during the night we get a 3-4hr stretch, if we're reeeallllly lucky. mostly wakes every 2-3 hrs still. never left that newborn stage i guess! so, you're not alone here! makes me feel a bit better knowing i'm not alone either!
i'm so tired of people saying how tired i look, so tired of being tired!! some people make suggestions-- try to get him to sleep in his own room so that he doesn't hear us and wake up...does this really work?? has anyone tried this? i will almost try anything, but not cio, just can't do that one.

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#8 of 9 Old 02-12-2003, 05:19 PM
 
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I just wanted to add for anyone who may not have read all the helpful threads on these boards about nightwaking. There are lots of things to try, including reading Elizabeth Pantley's "No Cry Sleep Solution." If you still haven't tried very many approaches to solve sleep 'problems' be sure to search the boards for all the old threads on the topic. And, of course, trust your instincts and don't do anything that doesn't feel right. I've read tons of success stories that always give me hope. I just haven't found the right thing for us yet (or dd's just not ready yet.) Our current hope is that she's allergic to dairy.... despite the fact that I did total elimination diets twice when she was younger to no avail. (My second guess is that it's related to my stress over finishing my Ph.D. which seems impossible with no sleep.)

Always hopeful,
Dana
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#9 of 9 Old 02-12-2003, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all your replies. It's nice to know I'm not the only one upset by this. But here's what i did yesterday, and she slept with hardly a peep last night.

I was thinking it might be the bed she was sleeping on, maybe she was uncomfortable. So, i switched the double bed we were sleeping on, with the Queen bed my dh sleeps on. The double is a better bed so I thought she would sleep better. Maybe not. I then took her out for the day and tried to wear her out, she had a good nap ( I actually find that she sleeps better at night if she has a long nap during the day. and we spent some of the afternoon at the park. I gave her homeopathic chamomile and chamomile tea, before bed, along with a snack.
(thank you for that idea, DaryLLL, i usually do give her something but a lot of the time she won't take it, I should try more frequently though. And that was a good idea to keep something, even water by the bed. The things we don't think of : )
I think the bed change made a big difference, she needed more room, and obviously slept better on a harder bed. But I also think that I need to make more of an effort to wearing her out during the day. She is a very quiet, mellow child and doesn't run around of her own volition that much. So, I think I need to make the opportunity for her to do it more often, or she won't be so inclined to wear HERSELF out.

I don't know if this will help anyone, and she might be right back at her restless self tonight. We'll see.

As for the constant nursing.... ??? i think she might be growing, and yes getting over a bit of a virus, and I'm sure the teething is partly the cause as well.

Thank you all! ~Holly
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