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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My DS is almost 10 months old and a terrible sleeper. He will only sleep while being held or right next to me in bed, preferably with nipple in mouth. I have extremely low milk supply because DS was born with a heart defect and I never developed a full milk supply exclusively pumping for 2 months, so when he nurses at night he isn't really getting anything. I'm more of a pacifier. (We cosleep, obviously)

He wakes about every hour usually, and latching him on usually gets him back to sleep, but sometimes he needs to be carried. How can I wean him from both of these things so he can go back to sleep by himself?

I'm thinking about doing the Dr Jay Gordon nightweaning method even though he is only 10 months just because I can't take it anymore...I'm at the end, PPD is getting bad again because I haven't been sleeping.

He won't sleep next to DH even--he has to be carried around if he sleeps with DH or held in the chair.

My worry is that the first nights I try to get him back to sleep without nursing or picking him up he will start crawling all around the room--that's what he does when he gets mad. Our mattress is on the floor and he can just go crawl off. Do I just follow him around, or pick him up and put him back in the bed??

I could try a crib, but I only want to do that as a last resort.

I have also read the no cry sleep solution, and her methods are really for babies who are addicted to nursing, not being carried. He won't sleep by himself, period. He has to be carried around to get to sleep, sometimes for quite a while. She seems to assume that most babies can at least nap by themselves, or sleep by themselves in a bed, before they begin the program. No amount of patting or ssshing does any good for him. It only leads to screaming and thrashing. For several weeks I tried laying down with him in bed to help him fall asleep (we have a routine, then we laid down when he was sleepy) and he would NOT fall asleep this way. He would get to the point where he was so exhausted he would fall asleep the instant I finally picked him up. Maybe I didn't stick it out long enough, I don't know.

He is very spirited, to say the least!! Help!!
 

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Welcome, sleepymama. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time! I don't know if weaning him from nursing at night would help you to get him to sleep better, though. How does he nap? Also, is he teething? That has made a HUGE difference in how often my Ian (
great name
) is up at night. I'm not familiar with Dr. Gordon, so I can't help you there.

I know Ian's newest thing is to go down around 10, then wake up at 12:30 am and play for an HOUR & A HALF. Grrrrr! I've taken to dozing on the couch while he plays in his crib (that he almost never uses otherwise
). When he starts to fuss I pick him up & see if he'll nurse back to sleep. But the teething is definitely the most likely culprit.

Good luck & sending you
vibes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh yeah, naps badly. He used to nap only a half hour at a time but now will often nap for an hour, sometimes an hour and a half and rarely two hours. He takes naps in his baby hammock but we don't put him in it at night because he can crawl out of it. But he often needs to be held while taking naps too and helped back to sleep about every 20 minutes. I can't ever leave him for a second, even while he naps. He's wearing me out!

And yes, teething. He's been teething since he was 3 months old and just got a tooth. Many others are coming in very very slowly. I know this is making it worse but even our *good* nights are awful!

Thanks though, I know there are no easy answers but at this point I'd settle for HARD answers!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sometimes I can, but usually I'm trying to get some grading done (I teach part time) and I am never prepared for my classes. Plus it's the same story as at night--a half hour of sleep at a time just makes me more tired!

And the story of my milk supply is a very long one. For many months I pumped like crazy, took every supplement (still take domperidone) and nursed around the clock and no increase. The conclusion of all the LCs I talked to was that I just never developed a full supply because we were separated for the first 3 weeks and he didn't BF very much till about 6 weeks (I exclusively pumped). I am ready to wean, to tell the truth. I am trying so hard to stick it out to a year since I have tried so hard for almost 10 months and I can't give up yet, but at this point it seems like the small benefit he gets for a tiny amount of milk is far outweighed by the lack of sleep and his general antics while BFing. He stands, kicks, etc. I wanted to let him wean himself but he uses me only as a pacifier really, not for nourishment. And I need to sleep, I really need to sleep...

He doesn't really suck that hard like he wants to eat, but more like he just wants to hold my nipple in his mouth. I really think it's just for comfort. He does act genuinely hungry around 4-5am, so we usually make him a bottle but then he has trouble going back to sleep.

I don't pump at work anymore since I was only getting drops at a time, so I only nurse in the mornings and evenings (and all night long of course!!) when I am at work. I'm sure he's reacting against being in daycare 2 days a week, reverse cycling and needing more mommy time (separation anxiety is in full swing) but I am just ready to die from lack of sleep!!
 

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Oh, My! It sounds like you have your hands full. Your MDC name says it all...

The one thing you might want to try from No Cry Sleep Solution is giving him a word association to going to sleep.

Karen will often stand up in the middle of the night if I don't wake and respond right away. I put her back down and say "night night, Karen". It has literally taken weeks to get this through to her, but she does now respond to it. I started saying "night night, Karen" as she was winding down in the evening to go to sleep. We even played "going to bed" with her doll several times. We started this when she was about 11 months old. I'd say it took about a month for her to get it. There were a lot of nights I got less sleep than I would have if I'd nursed her back to sleep right away, but we've gone from waking every 45-60 minutes to waking every 2-3 hours.

Another thought might be to get him used to sleeping with DH at least part of the night. You could start by having DH take over naps when possible (on the weekend?). If DH can do the cuddling for just a few hours a night, it might make a world of difference for "sleepymama".

Good luck! You are doing a world of good by nursing your baby. Find the balance of what you can handle with respect to nursing and sleep!
 
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