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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So Owen is six months as of tomorrow. He has never been a good
sleeper, but once upon a time (like between 1 & 3 mos) he would give
me a 5 hr stretch, then a 3 hour stretch, then up every hour til
morning. That was fine, that was perfect! Since then he is all over
the map.

Sometimes (about 1 night in 6-7) this is his night:
down easily at 7:30; awake & nurse when I go to bed at 9:30; awake to
nurse at 1:00; then again at 4:00, fussy & squirmy, won't nurse at
5:00. again at 6:00, up for the day at 7:00. This I could handle, but
it's very sporadic when it happens. Sometimes the longer stretch will
be from midnight till 3:00, so even on a good night, he'd VERY
inconsistent. If every night were like this, I feel like I'd be alright. I'm not asking for 12 hours in a row or anything, just a few longer stretches and much less kicking.

This is a mediocre night (about 75% of the time): down easily at 7:30
(thank goodness he always goes down easily!); awake for a back pat at
8:15, then awake and squirmy and kick, kick, kick every hour through
the night, with one longer 1.5-2 hr stretch in there somewhere,
sometimes nurses, sometimes just sucks a bit at the breast, sometimes
doesn't want to nurse at all then up for the day at 7:00am

This is an awful night (about 1 night every 3 or 4 days): down easily
at 7:30, then the same as a mediocre night, except he wakes up more
frequently, often screaming, wants to me walked around to get back to
sleep, won't nurse for comfort or hunger.

We cosleep, have a side-carred crib, he's not vaxed, he's exclusively BF'd, he takes a pacifier, I give him acidophilus, I don't eat dairy, gluten (he's VERY
sensitive to gluten), chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, spicy food or
tomatoes. The spicy food, caffeine, and tomatoes have been a recent
addition to the banned list, as we are thinking maybe reflux is the
issue. Hasn't helped much, though. I wear him on me for at least 50%
of his awake time. During the day he is generally a happy, easy to
soothe baby, as long as he is in arms or has our attention. He doesn't
seem affected by lack of sleep. often he doesn't wake up much, just
wakes me up...

His nap times are a struggle. He's napping in our bed with DH right
now, but he no matter where he sleeps during the day (carrier, bed,
crib, car) he wakes up after 30 minutes, and MAYBE we can get him back
to sleep. I've completely cleared my calendar for the next week so we
can stay really close to home and I can try to figure out a better nap
routine and ensure he gets at least two 1-1.5 hr naps every day (this
takes A LOT of work)

I was talking to my mom about it the other (bad idea!) and she said
it's not normal for a 6 m.o to wake up that much, especially in the
early evening. She said, let him cry. This is something that crosses
my mind on a pretty regular basis, but I'm so against it, and it feels
so wrong, but we are both just SO TIRED that I can't help but consider
it. So I let him cry for 10 minutes (checked on him about every
minute!) It was awful - he worked himself into hysterics. I should
have known that would happen, but I thought - oh maybe he'll just cry
for a few minutes and the go to sleep. No - he's not that kind of
baby. I went and got him, of course. I don't think I can do that
again, but I just don't know what to do.

Almost everyone I talk to about it says just let him cry. Like If I'm
not willing to do that, then I just need to suck it up and stop
complaining. I don't want to have to choose between our sanity and his
mental well-being. It's not fair.

We've tried NoCrySleep solution, and
it just isn't working. I've done the logs, implemented the plan, done
the logs again, nothing helps at all. He does have a very good bedtime
routine, but that doesn't affect his nighttime sleep. He won't take a
lovey, he doesn't nurse to sleep, he won't let us put him down 'sleepy
but not asleep' He will sometimes let DH comfort him.

I don't know what to do. I feel like we've tried everything and
nothing works. We're going to start solids with him this week anyways,
has anyone found that that helps their babe's sleep at all?

If anyone has any other suggestions, that would be much appreciated.
Or even just support and commiseration...

Lindsay
 

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"I was talking to my mom about it the other (bad idea!) and she said
it's not normal for a 6 m.o to wake up that much, especially in the
early evening. She said, let him cry."

Um, if it isn't 'normal' then something is wrong. Why would you ignore something being wrong with him?
:

Anyway, I am not sure I have any great advice... my oldest was really high needs and would never sleep without me (until he was 4!!!), not even for naps, but thankfully he generally slept through the night.

One thing I see is that you said you co-sleep but you mention a side-car crib, so I am wondering if you are up and alert while he is nursing at night so that you can put him back in the crib? For me, we tried the side-car crib thing because dh was against bed sharing, but after two days of almost no sleep because I was up at night to nurse him I almost had a nervous breakdown and he relented. After that I figured out how to nurse him and sleep at the same time, so even when he was awake I was still getting my rest. Have you tried this? Or if he is not wanting to nurse, is he wanting active attention or just your presence? If it is the latter, then I would just try to keep him as close to you as possible and stay in a light sleep if you can.

Hope this helps. Also, is there anyone who you could call to come over for an hour or two during the day so you can get a nap in? Local teenager, postpartum doula, relative, or someone like that?
 

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does he sleep better in his car seat? My refluxy daughter slept tons better in the car seat or swing than she did lying on a flat surface. Do you still swaddle him?
 

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My daughter was the same way -- refluxy, squirmy, could not sleep if she was in our bed, and did best in her car seat until she outgrew the reflux a bit. She slept like an angel in the swing, but I was too paranoid to leave her in it unsupervised at night.
 

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No advice mama, just hugs. My baby is almost 6 months and sounds exactly like yours. VERY squirmy and nurses all night long. The squirming is what drives me nuts. We swaddle him and that helps but hasn't increased his sleep much. Since it's my only child, I guess I just assume this is "normal" sleep for a baby.
: His naps are also right about 30-40 min with occasional ones that we can get him back to sleep for another 10-20 min.

When I'm REALLY feeling exhausted and losing perspective, I sleep in the guest room and dh brings him in to nurse throughout the night but keeps him in bed with him. He nurses less and I can sleep more because I'm not dealing with all the squirming. We do this about once every week or so. Dh also makes sure I can sleep in a couple hours in the morning on weekends. I would love a long stretch of sleep but just make due for now.

Whatever you do, don't let him cry alone...that doesn't teach a baby to sleep, it only teaches him that you're not coming. Trust your instincts mama and find a way to get some more rest.
:
 

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I am just going to sugges tsome things. I have no idea....both my boys slept solidly from 3 months, waking only while teething occasionally, but heres HOW they slept:

1. first of all a 6 month old is going through growth spurt/milestones and teething, so they just don't sleep well at 6 months anyway!
2. dark dark dark room. no light, no stimilus, so when they wake, they are bored, they go back to sleep. this worked for both my sons.
3. white noise:fans..something like that.
4. you can let him cry, but not be alone. like if you want him to lie down, you can pat his back or sing to him, but he may be crying, but at least you are there for him.
5. prop him up. since you say he is in a co sleeper, i dont really know much about those, can they be propped like cribs so that there is a small incline?(good for reflux)
6.sleep sacks!! they are heaven!! especially for needy, cuddly babies. i recommend one totally!

you really do need sleep in order to be a good mama. if you can go in a room at least one night a week and let dh do the nightshift it will make you feel a lot better. remember, this will pass, your baby will be growing up so fast, and these days will be long gone. you will be able to look back and think how well you did to not leave him to cry alone.
i can understand the need to try anything. i have left my babes to cry alone too at one point or another, nobody is perfect. having a baby is hard, and so hard to know what is normal or what isnt.
also you may need to see if something medically is going on, you never know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks SO MUCH for the tips and support, mamas. I really appreciate it.

Quote:
One thing I see is that you said you co-sleep but you mention a side-car crib, so I am wondering if you are up and alert while he is nursing at night so that you can put him back in the crib? For me, we tried the side-car crib thing because dh was against bed sharing, but after two days of almost no sleep because I was up at night to nurse him I almost had a nervous breakdown and he relented. After that I figured out how to nurse him and sleep at the same time, so even when he was awake I was still getting my rest. Have you tried this? Or if he is not wanting to nurse, is he wanting active attention or just your presence? If it is the latter, then I would just try to keep him as close to you as possible and stay in a light sleep if you can.
He starts out the night in the side-car crib, then once I go to bed his little mommy radar turns on and he's up and wanting into bed with me. Sometimes I'm able to get him back in the crib, if I don't fall asleep nursing him, and if he doesn't wake up when I move him. I am able to nurse him lying down, thank goodness. If all he wants is milk, then we usually both fall asleep while he's nursing and it's all good. The problem is that often that's not what he wants!

Quote:
does he sleep better in his car seat? My refluxy daughter slept tons better in the car seat or swing than she did lying on a flat surface. Do you still swaddle him?
He hates his carseat with a burning passion, unfortunately. He won't take a swaddle anymore, that's actually when he sleep started to go downhill. About 2 months ago when he started fighting the swaddle.

Quote:
VERY squirmy and nurses all night long. The squirming is what drives me nuts. We swaddle him and that helps but hasn't increased his sleep much. Since it's my only child, I guess I just assume this is "normal" sleep for a baby. His naps are also right about 30-40 min with occasional ones that we can get him back to sleep for another 10-20 min.
Sounds like our babes have been talking! It helps to know that I'm not the only one dealing with this. Most moms I talk to about sleep problems complain cause their little ones are still waking up once of twice to eat. I would pay good money for him to sleep like that!

Quote:
When I'm REALLY feeling exhausted and losing perspective, I sleep in the guest room and dh brings him in to nurse throughout the night but keeps him in bed with him. He nurses less and I can sleep more because I'm not dealing with all the squirming. We do this about once every week or so. Dh also makes sure I can sleep in a couple hours in the morning on weekends. I would love a long stretch of sleep but just make due for now.
We're going to try this on Friday night (when DH doesn't have to work the next day) Sometimes in the early morning I go into the other room. DS is more calm when I'm not there, sometimes.... This morning he went from 5:00 - 8:30 without nursing and I slept the WHOLE TIME!

Quote:
Whatever you do, don't let him cry alone...that doesn't teach a baby to sleep, it only teaches him that you're not coming.
I've decided that when I feel desperate, and nothing will settle him, I'll just stay in the room with him and rub his back, or hold his hand while he cries and fusses. At least he won't be alone.

Quote:
1. first of all a 6 month old is going through growth spurt/milestones and teething, so they just don't sleep well at 6 months anyway!
2. dark dark dark room. no light, no stimilus, so when they wake, they are bored, they go back to sleep. this worked for both my sons.
3. white noise:fans..something like that.
4. you can let him cry, but not be alone. like if you want him to lie down, you can pat his back or sing to him, but he may be crying, but at least you are there for him.
5. prop him up. since you say he is in a co sleeper, i dont really know much about those, can they be propped like cribs so that there is a small incline?(good for reflux)
6.sleep sacks!! they are heaven!! especially for needy, cuddly babies. i recommend one totally!
Yeah, I know this is definitely a growth spurt making things worse, but he's been like this for a LONG time. He also sleeps best with his head on my arm, so he's elevated like that. I'm going to try the sleep sack tomorrow. We have one, but haven't been using it lately.
 

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you might think this is crazy advice but when your sleep deprived why not try everything right?
Anyway..when he wakes and gets squirmy and fidgety hold him over a little potty...(Or a big tupperware bowl) and let him pee. (,make a pss noise if it helps)
Often babies are trying to tell us that they are uncomfortable b/c they have to pee.
The signs are often squirminess, popping on and off the breast, unable to settle.
Babies will let a little pee out..feel squirmy and keep waking up b/c they are as uncomfortable as any other person with full bladder.

(Check out the EC forum if you want to learn more....but really he might just need to pee)
 

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My 8 month old nurses straight through the night non stop for 12 hours and only naps for 25 minutes at a time through the day. If I try to sneak away from her at night she wakes up and the only solution is to put a boob in her mouth. This behavior is exhausting, but at least I am able to lightly sleep through the night.
It sounds as though you are moving your little one in and out of the side crib, is that because he sleeps better there? I find that if I just leave dd next to me in bed (even though it makes her want to nurse) she sleeps though the night without fussing.
As for the day time I find that she takes longer naps when I lay down next to her in our family bed and nurse her through her nap. Sometimes I even fall asleep and the both of us get in a long stretch of rest. Sometimes she will wake up and I will just keep my eyes closed and she will go back to sleep. I have been able to catch up to 4 hours of sleep at a time this way. It doesn't happen every day but when it does happen - wow! - what a difference it makes.
As for going crazy from lack of sleep... A friend of mine often points out that one of the most common forms of torture is to let a prisoner sleep two hours and then wake them up, sleep two hours again and then wake them up again. Sound familiar?
You need your sleep and it does not make you selfish for wanting it. I have felt that way at times but I now realize that my sleep helps me be a better more interactive mom.
 

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well at 22 months my dd is a crappy sleeper. she didn't nap longer than 20 minutes until after her first birthday. now she will do a three hour nap but only if i am with her and then she wakes up about five times to nurse. her nights are just horrible. last night she woke up at 3:30 for good! i am exhausted and here she is sitting on my lap at 11 at night wide awake! no real advice, but good luck
 

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I suggest changing his bedtime from 7:30 to whenever you go to bed. It sounds like he sleeps relatively well for the first hour or two after going to sleep. You're currently not taking advantage of this time to meet your own sleep needs. If he goes to sleep with you at 9:30 then presumably he will sleep until 9am. If you can sleep until 9 too--great--you'll get more sleep. If you can't sleep until 0, how about leaving his bedtime at 7:30 and going to bed then yourself? Or at least an hour earlier, at 8:30.

It's totally normal for babies to nap best when being held. It's also totally normal to wake up a lot at night.
 

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I'm going to offer another perspective.....

My dd2 actually slept better in a room by herself. Unfortunately, it took me 15 months to figure this out
Turns out that dh and I were waking her up at night, throughout the night. As soon as we moved her out, she literally started sleeping through the night, every night. It's probably not realistic to think that a 6 mo won't need to eat at least once during the night, but not all kids sleep better close to mom and/or dad.

I also recommend offering the potty!
 

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I just wanted to send you a hug. We have been having nights like yours lately with our nine month old. I can't stand the kicking either! And yes, it is possible to lose it. I lost it on Monday. Cried all day. It was awful. I'm barely holding things together at the seams, after 9 months of not sleeping. Take care of yourself the best you can. I'm sorry I don't have any answers.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hipumpkins View Post
you might think this is crazy advice but when your sleep deprived why not try everything right?
Anyway..when he wakes and gets squirmy and fidgety hold him over a little potty...(Or a big tupperware bowl) and let him pee. (,make a pss noise if it helps)
Often babies are trying to tell us that they are uncomfortable b/c they have to pee.
The signs are often squirminess, popping on and off the breast, unable to settle.
Babies will let a little pee out..feel squirmy and keep waking up b/c they are as uncomfortable as any other person with full bladder.

(Check out the EC forum if you want to learn more....but really he might just need to pee)
I would have never thought of this, but it makes so much sense! Off to learn more!
 
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