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OK this is getting out of hand!

1095 Views 22 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Rollermommy
I'm usually a "go with the flow" kinda momma. I know certain stages come and go and i just try to cherish the moment no matter how challenging because theyre only babies once and i know it will pass...blah, blah. Well, several nights now with very little sleep, a cold, and a horrible backache, and i've just about reached my limit. My almost 8 mo. old usually nurses every 2 hrs..still--i'm fine with that, and nurses several times a night--fine with that too, but now she wants to nurse ALL NIGHT LONG!! If she comes unattached from my breast she screams. So i have to lay in a very uncomfortable position on my side with my ribs pressing into my kidney (cause my boobs are tiny
) ALL NIGHT LONG!! And i cant sleep like this forever, i'm turning into a major butt-head during the day because i'm so cranky from no sleep and a backache
Please mama's lend me your solutions
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Well I'm still struggling with 'going with the flow". Must be the age group. My dd is 8 mo and was always a fantastic sleeper, only woke once or twice for a short nurse at night. Now it's every hour or two, she's awake by 4-5am and from then on, has to be attached to my breast or she wakes every 5 mins or so. I can totally empathise.

I think for dd it's partly due to teething and she's just learned to crawl. I give her Hylands Teething tablets and Tylenol sometime but with short term success. Can't do much about the crawling. Sometimes she rolls on to her tummy at night and it's like 'on tummy' = 'must get on all fours and crawl immediately'. She looks totally surprised when she wakes up to find herself crawling around the bed! Then gotta nurse her back to sleep everytime she does this.

My solution has been to start taking naps with her again in the afternoon. And limiting my daytime activities. Sorry I don't have any great ideas.
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Oh, wow. I thought I was the only mama in the world sleep-deprived for the first time with an 8-month-old! He wants to nurse all the time at night, which would be fine, especially since he's reverse cycling, if he'd go back to sleep. But, nooooo...he's then wide awake. He won't go in his crib (in our room) at all - even if he's fully asleep - he has a sixth sense that he's being put down, and wakes up and screams. So, I bring him into bed, where he spends the night nursing every 30 minutes for like 30 seconds, and then pulling my hair and kicking me in the stomach (not intentionally of course, but it doesn't feel good and I can't sleep!) The poor thing is teething really hard and is also frustrated because he can't quite figure out how to crawl yet. I just keep telling myself that this will pass, and drinking too much coffee at work.

I hope you get some
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double post. erg!
I know of what you speak. It doesn't last forever. I confess to 'slipping' DS a pacifier every now and then. I'd pop it in as he was mostly asleep and I was extracting my own nipple. Sometimes I'd put him in his crib (in our room) and wind up his mobile if he was reisiting sleep. He'd 'play'with a few soft rattles we had it there for a bit, and he could still see (night light) DH and I so it would get us a little more sleep. Sometimes he'd ACTUALLY fall asleep! BONUS

I just wanted to add a little caution with regard to caffeine. If I drank ANY coffee WHATSOEVER when exclusively nursing DS, he would be WIRED for, what seemed like, FOREVER and was a bear to settle at night. Even if I only had one cup in the morning! I don't think my body metabolizes caffeine very fast.

P.S. Boiron makes a fabulous homeopathic teething remedy. It's basically camomille (SP?) and belladonna in very low concentrations. It's called Camillia. It didn't WORK WONDERS for DS, but it did take the edge off for him and helped him settle (and therefore sleep) a bit better.
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Well i can totally sympathize with those bedtime "jabs". If i dont keep my nipple in her mouth ALL NIGHT she immediately wakes up and then we have to start the whole go-to-sleep routine all over again. Which inturn is 30 min. at least of pure abuse! Kicking in the stomach, pinching the other nipple, clawing at my chest, pulling out my hair...ect.

The thing i hate most is that i'm such a bear to my 2 older boys
They dont deserve a hateful mommy. I have to appologize to them 1000 times a day for my behavior. Not to mention having no sleep leaves me feeling all depressed and my only motivation for the day is to find time to take a nap
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Okay mommas, this may seem a bit un-attatched and harsh but as much as i love to meet their needs and nurse to comfort and so forth, well.... if things are getting to the point where you are negecting your sleep/needs and then being cranky all day then can you consider not CIO but more of a mommy- will- help- you deal,- not- just- the- way -you- want approach ?? It seems to me that about this time -8 mo- babies find out they can have real preferences and insist on their way a bit more. Maybe a few nights of handing baby off to dad after you nurse em down and either leaving the room or changing places in bedwith dad would help??? sure, there may be a fuss but they'll get over it with firmness and gentle assurance. I think that it's sometimes hard to know when mommy needs to stop giving and believe it's for the best. and I think pacifier are great for these situations. my dd would object more than ds i must admit but hey you gotta try any solution that might help. I also must stress that mommas attitude be it strong conviction to not nurse all night or one that sways will be felt by baby. think it over. get right with what you decide and than do it!
good luck
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I agree with Laura. Part of being a mommy is taking good care of yourself so you are able to care for your babes. It is not CIO if you don't abandon the babe. While it is not ideal it is okay for a baby to be unhappy with a situation (like can't have the breast right now) and to express that by crying. Obviously one parent or another should be comforting the baby while he or she works through this disappointment. I elect the father since he has no breasts so isn't in any way tempting the baby while denying him or her what is desired. Also, dads tend to start out better rested and can afford to lose a few hours. Get out the sling, the rocker, whatever.. and learn to settle the baby without the breast.

One last thought... teething could be a big factor in this, so line up some teething remedies.
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Laura, that may work for some babies, but not all. Konur would have gone into hysterics and cried until he puked, just the kind of baby he was.

I went through the same latched on all night thing and somehow survived. I would put a pillow under my lower back, kinda of under and behind to give me support and even started taking ibuprofin at night for the back pain that was there every night. There was no way he would have been "fussy" and stopped, I know how he was when I would get up to go to the bathroom.

I hope you can find some way to cope with it that works for you and your baby.
Well, as far as dh taking the baby--no way. He works 12-16 hrs a day 7 days a week and i just dont think it would be fair to ask him to do that. I'm sure you guys understand that. And i was thinking this morning (after another HORRIBLE night) that something has to be done--i'm thinking of trying to get her back to sleep without nursing. But there is always that thought in the back of my mind, "what if she really is hungry
: I cant very well deny my baby nourishment". She doesnt/won't eat baby food, so she basically just eats off my plate whenever i eat. So how do i know that she's not really hungry, but just wants to nurse? How do you separate needs from wants at this age? I have always assumed that in the preverbal stage a cry is a commmunication of a need. So at night when she cries to nurse, she must "need" to nurse, and therefore I MUST nurse her no matter how it is disrupting my sleep. Am i wrong here? Peggy, Dr. Sears, Anyone?
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ITA with you, gaiamom. Since my DS is (to an extent) reverse cycling since I'm a WOHM, I don't feel as though I can deny him nourishment at night. No advice, just
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Can I be stupid....what is reverse cycling?

I wanted to add too, that i'm not knocking the suggestions you guys gave....I appreciate all of your reply's very much. And i would be willing to rock her and comfort her while she cried to nurse, IF, BIG IF, i knew she was just pissed off about not getting her way and not really hungry. I just dont know how to tell the difference.
Not a dumb question - I think it's probably something that only really affects WOHM's (although I do have a friend whose baby is just so busy that she doesn't want to eat all day!)

Reverse cycling is when the baby eats less than usual during the day, and then makes up for the deficit during the night. In my case, it's because my DS doesn't really like drinking EBM from a bottle, and because of how much I pump. He usually only will take 2 5-oz. bottles during the day while I'm at work (plus drink water and eat his solids), and then nurse a bunch at night & on the weekends to make up for it.
I would like to direct you guys to this thread in Nighttime Parenting: "6-9 mo frequent wakers":

Reverse cyclng is common in babies this age. They are too busy/distractable during the day to nurse enough, so need to eat more at night.

I feel for all of you. I also felt insane when my kids were in this stage. It passes, and really, there is no need to do anything drastic.

Also, for us, we tried to use Dad as a substitute and it just made baby#1 more mad and mistrustful of both of us, when we wouldn't let her have mommy.

Between teething and crawling/cruising, this is a very frustrating age. I hope you can all let go of all extra responsibilities and get naps as much as poss.
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Gaimom: I DO understand what it's like to have a high needs baby at night and live with sleep deprivation-- my ds was like that. I may be missing the important part-- that being this stage of develpment and the baby truly needing the breast. I realize it's very difficult to know if the baby is hungry or needing comfort but perhaps looking at the days nursings and offering breast more during the day will help ? if this is the case, than i see no reason not to at least try pacifier and/or dad to get some rest and relief. As for Dad working 12 - 16 hrs/day , 7 days a week: Whats your work week like momma??? who made this baby? you or him or BOTH????? NO cant get sympathy from me for poor dad, sorry>
hope you hang in there and find some relief.
Is it possible she has an ear infection? I ask because my 7mo dd had one- she kept grabbing her ear- and I thought it was teething. Then one night she kept waking up crying, so I took her to the ped. Turned out she had an ear infection, the ped said it was getting better and not to worry about it. I started putting breastmilk in her ear and nursing with her lying on that side and it seems to have cleared up. She's sleeping much better now.
Here's an idea to try that I stumbled on accidentally. At the end of each nursing for several weeks I had been saying to ds, 'Mama's milk all done!' and after awhile I knew he understood cuz he waved byebye to my boob!
How this helped at night is that when he began to wake up every hour, I would pick him up and cuddle him, and when he began to root around and cry I would tell him the same phrase, mama's milk all done, and after about 30 seconds of whispering this in his ear lovingly while rocking and caressing, he would accept that it was not time to nurse and fade back into sleep in a few minutes. I was shocked the first time this worked!
I think this is similar to Pantley's concept of key words.
She says if they begin to cry go ahead and let them latch on and in a minute, slip a finger in and release them from the nipple while at the same time putting a finger under their chin, gently discouraging them from opening back up to try latching on again. (it may take several tries).I was surprised that this worked too! Now I combine these methods to get ds back to sleep when it's only been an hour or so since the last nursing and I need a bit more sleep!
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Thank you very much for all your heartfelt replies
After paying close attention to my baby I think i've found the problem. <1> I think at this age babies are developing and changing so rapidly that they can become a little unsure/insecure. They are progressing at such a fast pace it can become a little scary and they seem to be clingy and need more comfort and nursing. They just need our physical reasurance to know they are doing great and everything is just fine. Hopefully if we as mothers provide this much needed reasurance they move through this stage with confindence. <2> I think that because my baby has become more willing to explore on her own and play without me for a few minutes at a time, i have been making her do that way too much so i can get things done, have 5 minutes to myself, whatever. Senerio: Ella gets interested in playing in the bottom cabinet where all the plastic containers are. So i think, hey great time to wash the dishes. Frantically i run around trying to clean the kitchen as fast as i can. After about 5-10 minutes Ella is done playing and wants mommy. Well, at this point mommy is up to her elbow's in dishsoap and doesnt want to stop till the kitchen is clean. So i sing, dance, try to keep her from fussing while i clean the kitchen, which doesnt work only makes her cry really hard, till i give up out of frustration and pick her up. Am i dumb enough to think she doesnt pick up on my frustration??!! Do i think that the world is going to crumble if the dishes dont get washed immediately??!! What i should do is take her and nurse her for a few minutes or play and after a while she'll get interested in something and i can finish the kitchen......duh!! The problem is this doesnt happen once or twice a day, it happens a lot. My baby shouldnt have to cry and cling to my pants to get my attention. So therefore she's probably trying to make up for it at night.......duh!!
Sometimes we already know the answer to our problem, we just have to stop long enough to hear it.
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My baby shouldnt have to cry and cling to my pants to get my attention. So therefore she's probably trying to make up for it at night.......duh!!
I think your baby is going to have happier days now
and hopefully you will have happier nights! Good for you for acknowledging how it must make our babies feel when we inadvertantly ignore their needs during our busy days. And thanks for reminding the rest of us too! We all end up in that place sometimes and just can't see where we are through all the frustration.
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DS seems to be wanting to nurse more at night, too. Perhaps that's why I'm so worn out. I hadn't thought about that.

When he's just nursing nursing nursing and I reeeeeeally want him to stop, I roll over or put him between me and daddy. Sometimes he protests and I have to roll back over, but most of the time, if he realizes he's touching the non-nursie side, he'll just go to sleep. He's been like this his whole life, though, so maybe this isn't much help. I'm not sure it makes much sense.

I need sleep.
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