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Cosleeping now - but I'm not getting more sleep!

507 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  sweedma
DS is 4.5mos and is up a lot lately. We've recently started letting him sleep in our bed all the time instead of parttime b/c we have moved and it was a huge it was hard to have him sleep in his pack and play or a crib or anything. At first it was great beause I got a ton of sleep - all I had to do was unlatch my nursing tank for him to nurse in the night. But now he is often up almost every hour or so! TOO MUCH! And he will also kick me and move all around. I resort to laying on my back with him draped horizontally across me nursing/sucking away so he can finally fall asleep since he sometimes hasn't been falling asleep nursing on his side like usual.

And last night....oh, last night! After waking up every 1-2hrs he was then up for over an hour and a half. I have NEVER been up with him that long in the middle of the night. He would not fall asleep. He was so wide awake at 4am. He would not nurse to sleep in any position. Nothing. But he did want to "nurse". I realized he just wanted to suck b/c even my finger worked. I finally grabbed his pacifier which he has only taken to 2 days out of his life and lo and behold....he decided to suck on it...for a bit (about 15mins). Otherwise I thought he was going to suck me raw. Eventually I got up out of bed with him to go rock him and eventually nursed him to sleep while rocking him. That finally worked. But it took so long! That has never ever happened.

Where are the nights when he would nurse and then easily, quietly go back to sleep?? And stay asleep??

Any ideas on what is going on or what to do??
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I'm not sure if this is your concern, but it's unlikely it's the co-sleeping that is causing the change in sleep. This article really helped me understand what happens around 4 months. Wakeful 4 Month Olds
By the way, I am about this close to giving DS a bottle of EBM at night to see if that helps him sleep better b/c then he may fill up more right before bed. I'd rather not b/c then I am pumping every day to just use the bottle at home when I would rather use it to go out if I am somewhere I don't want to NIP. But...I am close to doing it to see if it helps. We used to do this b/c it was so hard to nurse him at night but then it got better. Maybe time to try it again but I would rather not if I don't have to.
Oh...thanks...I will read that article right now!

His daytime naps haven't been so great either. And cosleeping was great at first, so I figured it must not be least I was hoping it isn't that. I was getting more sleep whil cosleeping but now I am getting less...but still probably more than if I were to have him in the pack and play bassinette again.
Thanks for the article. As I Am browsing this forum and others I am seeing that there are a lot of babies around this age goign through a similar thing. I will say though, that at least last night, it wasn't all about food. It was about sucking. It could be my breast, finger, or pacifier, he just wanted to suck (but would still not go to sleep). The other nights this has happened though then he has been eating I think. He is more distractable during the day now, but he still is eating a lot during the day. Waking up every hour and a half though just seems to be SO much!

And will this last until 6 or 7 months like the article seemed to imply??
: I don't know what to do with myself if this lasts that long.

Do you really think that the cosleeping isn't affecting this?
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Do you really think that the cosleeping isn't affecting this?

Dr. James McKenna
has some really interesting research on this. He found that co-sleeping babies do arouse more often, but that mothers of co-sleeping babies actually reported getting more sleep. This makes sense, since if your babe is in another room, he will likely wake-up more fully by the time you hear him, leave bed and get to him. And you will awake more fully if you have to go through the process of getting up and taking a baby out of the crib. If you co-sleep, you are able to just move over and nurse.

It does take some practice to sleep through night nursings. After a while, I often couldn't even remember waking--my DH would ask me "how much did she wake up last night" and I couldn't remember. I doubt that would happen if you had to go get a baby out of a crib.

Of course, you could always give it a try in the crib again and see if it leads to more sleep. Or you could bring the crib into your room, so that you can get to your DS quickly. Or you could sidecar the crib to your bed. And what works today might not work next month, so you can always try different arrangements.

But no, I don't think co-sleeping causes a baby to need to suck or to want a connection with a parent at night. It just makes it easier to meet those needs.
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I think that rzberry's article says it all ..............
really co-sleeping has not had any negative effect - i am sure that you are getting much more rest than you would get if you were up and down all night fetching the babe to feed every time ..........keep with the nursing on demand and the co-sleeping - it really is worth it ...........
I was getting more sleep co-sleeping...but the past few days I have not. So that is what has changed. He is up and moving a lot and not going back to sleep. Before that I was able to sleep through nursing and got great sleep! But something in the past few days has changed...
We went through the same wakeful phase here too. We actually let her sleep on her own, and surprisingly, she slept a little better. Don't get me wrong, I'm not an advocate of forcing babies to sleep in cribs, BUT, if it is becoming obvious that your night time parenting is not working, then it needs to be tweaked.

Ava got to the point where she just wasn't sleeping well with us, and it was evidenced in how she behaved during the day, which was extremely over tired. I was not about to force her into sleeping with us just so I could wear a co-sleeping badge, I wanted to follow HER lead, which resulted in better sleep all around.

And now that she's rolling around and trying to crawl I just don't feel comfortable leaving her in our bed until I go to sleep, so I put her down in her crib, and when she wakes for her first feed she comes back to bed with us. Our bed is ALWAYS open to her!

For right now this is what works. I find that as soon as we found something that worked, she switched it up on us. LOL. We just roll with the punches.

Oh yeah, and try not think about the next few months, it's so over whelming. Just take it one day at a time.
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I think I'm going to try having DS go to sleep in his bassinette/pack and play in our room again. And then when he wakes for his first feed he can stay in our bed. This is what we used to do. And maybe he will go back to a longer 5-6 hr stretch like he used to. Now it seems the minute I get in bed he wakes up. I don't know if thats because he would have anyway or because I wake him up as I get in bed.
Dr. Sears said it best - "If you resent it, change it." I just can't be a good mommy if I can't hold my head up during the day. Exhaustion has been the toughest thing, for me, about motherhood. My sleeping habits are just as important to me as hers, because it means that I will be an over all more rested, more patient, and more attentive mother.
I don't know if this has been suggested yet, but one thing that worked well for us during those months was to make my nipple a little less available. Once DS was fully asleep, I would move myself a little up or down so when DS woke up slightly he could cuddle with my body without necessarily seeing/feeling a breast right beside his face. Occasionally he'd go right back to sleep.

That said, I also had many nursing all-nighters. I feel for you! Maybe you can move the clock out of sight and stop checking on how often the baby nurses -- just try to get comfy with lots of pillows and go back to sleep while he's latched on. I found that I used to keep a mental log of how often DS nursed and recite it angrily to my DH every morning. When I stopped paying attention, a lot of that resentment went away.
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