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EVERY night without fail my 9wk DS wakes at 3am for his feedings. But, instead of going back to sleep, he *fusses* not crying yet, just fussy. He will cry if you don't hurry and try to calm him down. DH takes over care for him when he gets home from work, anywhere from 12midnight to 1am. I know he is tired by the time he takes over but we literally have not choice since I have to be a work by 8am.

Every night, just when I start to doze off into a good sleep, I hear DS scream a little, (he and DH sleep in the living room so I can get some sleep), and my heart sanks because when things are quiet, I think finally DH and I may actually get some sleep. For the past 3 nights, he is waking up at 3am *fussying* and my heart starts racing and I jump out of bed to go help DH try and calm him down before he starts fully crying. DH was sitting on the couch (as usual looking miserable) trying to put DS back to sleep. DS was wide awake, arms flailing and hissing like he was getting ready to cry. This is now a phobia for me because when he gets in this hissing/whimpering/stage it could take anywhere from 3-4hours to calm him down. Which it did this morning.

For some reason, he is blissfully asleep by 7am. It has gotten to the point where DH and I hate it when the sun goes down and can't wait for it to come back up. I am sooo exhausted today from lack of sleep. The only time I get sleep nowadays is on my lunch hour at work.

My body is still recovering from a C-Section so I am tired all the time. It seems like every new mom I talk to is blissfully happy with her newborn, no fatigue issues, sleeping thru night like a champ, and takes nap during the day. From what I understand, they have no problems with their newborns. My question is how do you do it?
 

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Who have you been talking to? Almost all new moms have issues to overcome in the first 6 weeks to 3 months! Hwo old is your baby? You could put his birthdate in your signature line.

Do you co-sleep with your baby? Are you breastfeeding? the baby may prefer you to Dad and actually sleep better if he is right beside you. You are not sleeping anyway with this solution of Dad taking over. If you co-slept and learned to sleep while nursing, you may well not even notice how often the baby nurses.

I feel so bad for you, still recovering from a c-sec, separated from your baby and back to work.
 

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newmommy, I don't know how *you* do it. The situation you described at home is just like mine in many respects: DS 9 weeks old, waking at 3:00 for nighttime nursing, then awake and active for about 3-4 hours after, DP trying to let me get sleep in the middle of the night, me recovering from a c-section. We would dearly love DS to go back to sleep and let both of us stay in bed until at least 7 a.m. or so - but (so far, at least) no go! From what I've heard, though, all this is normal. Not desirable (for us tired parents) particularly, but normal. Well, I suppose it helps a little to know that. A very little maybe?

The big difference in my life is that I don't have to be at work and on my game at 8:00 a.m like you do. Sure, I am busy taking care of DS all day every day. But DP is working flexibly right now and can schedule his hours as he likes. He's a late-night person anyway and is currently sleeping in and not starting work until after noon. So he's in charge at night (while I sleep) and I'm in charge during the day (letting him sleep in before he has to work). We are very very very very lucky in this regard, I know.

And yet we are sometimes so frustrated and sleep-deprived anyway that I cannot for the life of me *imagine* how you do it! You are a hero among moms. My brain is a mere shadow of its former self and I can't imagine how I could possibly perform my job right now (which I am on hiatus from even though I'm a freelancer and work out of my home - I don't know *where* I would find the time to work!). It would be a disaster. You should give yourself a huge pat on the back for all you're accomplishing right now at this tender and difficult time. And I think you should also be very gentle on yourself. What you're going through is not easy, and it can't really be "controlled" the way we're used to controlling a lot of things in our lives. I guess all we can do is go with the flow.

And if that really does prove impossible the way things are, maybe you and your DH should consider changing something in your setup. Maybe it just isn't possible for both of you to work the way you are right now. Is your DH also working full time? You might need to rethink that. Or ... maybe all you need to do is wait it out. Everyone tells me constantly, "It will get better at 3 months!" Well, we're almost there. It's possible your baby will suddenly realize that the wee hours are for sleeping.

Well, sorry I don't have any experienced advice. I just wanted you to know you're not alone and I feel for you.
 

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If other moms are sleeping better, it is probably just the temperment of their babies. We are having a very similar sleep situation this time around and it is very uncool. Last time though, I was one of those moms you're envying - 8 to 10 hours of sleep at night.
Keep trying different soothing methods. He may want a different activity every other night.
Just a theory of mine - moms may not be willing to let on how hard it is because of societal pressure to have a "good" baby and to be blissed out about being a new mom.
 

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I second the co-sleeping idea. If it weren't for co-sleeping, I'd be totally and completely exhausted. I have 7-month-old twins, and they have never come close to sleeping through the night. Most nights they each wake up 3 times (so, I am awakened 6 times). But I am only awake max. 10 min. a night. My babies don't even have to fuss, they just start wiggling next to me, and I pop a nipple in, and we're both back to sleep in a couple of minutes. Side-lying nursing can be tricky at first, but most moms love it once they get used to it. I find that if I let my babies really wake up then they are much harder to get back to sleep. Especially now that they are crawling and wanting to practice all of their new skills. If they wake up in the middle of the night, they may well stay up for an hour or more. But that very rarely happens since they are right next to me.

Also, since you are working (I assume away from your babe), co-sleeping might be a nice time for you to get some extra snuggles with your baby (and Dh can spoon you from behind while you spoon baby).

I am in a baby group with 8 other moms, 6 of whom co-sleep (though I'm the only one who was planning to before my babies were born). Us co-sleeping moms are significantly better rested and more content with our nightime parenting than the non-cosleeping moms.

Just an idea!

Lex
 

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Have you tried swaddling him so he doesn't wake himself up by flailing around? One thing you can try is the Miracle Blanket, which is an easier way to swaddle than with a receiving blanket (although a receiving blanket will do too!)

http://www.miracleblanket.com/

Babies definitely sleep more soundly on their tummies; that's why mothers in our mothers' generations were told to put us to sleep on our tummies. It's harder for babies to wake themselves up by waving their arms and legs around when they're on their tummies. But that's a big no-no from the back-to-sleep SIDS prevention perspective, so swaddling can really help calm a baby and keep them asleep.

I am concerned about your dh co-sleeping with ds in the living room...on the couch? It is safest for baby to sleep in bed, with his mom. Dads just aren't as aware of the baby's presence as moms are, and couches aren't good co-sleeping places because babies can get wedged into the cushions and suffocate.

I would definitely recommend bringing baby into your bed with you to try nursing and co-sleeping, as well as swaddling. At a minimum, though, if you're not going to sleep with ds for part of the night then I would advocate that dh sleep with ds in bed or a co-sleeper and *you* go out on the couch.

Hang in there, mama - it does get better with time.

Edited to add: also buy or check out this book and video: The Happiest Baby on the Block. http://www.thehappiestbaby.com/ His method for soothing babies really works, and will likely help you soothe your baby faster when he wakes up in the wee hours.
 

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Wow! That sounds like a hard situation. I'm wondering if your babe has gas pain, which might explain the fussiness at that time. Have you tried infant belly massage and other gas relief techniques. Also, you might focus on what you are eating to see of that helps too. When ds was about that age, he always had gas around 3-4 in the morning (I think because he wasn't moving or pooping for several hours since he was sleeping). Luckily, he grew out of that eventually.

I also think cosleeping is a good thing to try. Though, in my case, ds wakes up more often--he loves to nurse. I also can't always fall back asleep afterwards. But ds has never fussed during the night and I definitely attribute that to cosleeping.
 

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Hi newmommy, I keep sending you these posts and you're probably sick of me but every time I read your post, I am amazed at what you say - it is so much like my own experience! Well, except for I am not back at work. I had my first baby by emergency c-section this May. He was very similar to your baby- at least what you describe. In fact, he still is - he wakes often throught the night. The big big big thing that helped the entire family was putting the baby in the bed next to me and then nursing him in the bed. Can you and/or your husband do that? My baby is not a good sleeper - he often wakes from gas, reflux, bowel movements, etc. But, I know it helps when he wakes and I can either feed him quickly and get him back to sleep in minutes or if he wakes in discomfort, I can help soothe him before he is fully awake. When he was in the crib, it was just awful. He would be down for 20 minutes and then up for 3 hours. I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE SAYING WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT A PHOBIA! Every time I think about Damon sleeping in his crib, I feel sick remembering what I felt like. I dreaded bed time because it would only mean endless hours of crying and me being alone and not knowing what to do. My DH would be at work and I would be a mess!!! I would go to bed, and imagine I could hear the baby crying even when he wasn't. I couldn't relax because I would be waiting for that cry. Really, truly, when the baby is next to you, it is so much easier. You go to bed, the little baby is curled up next to you and it is beautiful. My little guy just sleeps so much better and I know it's from the warmth of his mommy! I am certain because sometimes he wakes up and when I move close to him and cuddle him, he goes back to sleep on his own. He would never do this in his crib.

I'm not sure what to say when you say how do you get through this. My DH works nights and because of his highway driving he does during his job, I let him get full sleep while I look after the baby. There is no way I could go to my job (a 4 hour commute!) and look after the little baby. I am on maternity leave and I just consider it my job to do the 24 hour thing. The deal is for us that I do all the night parenting and my husband works and helps with all the housework etc. I only wake him when I am really desperate!!! I'm not sure what to advise if you are both working - I would seriously consider co-sleeping.

I want to say one more thing - no matter what you do, remember the babies do grow, mature and one day will be little children and we will wish they were sweet little babies again! You're doing all the right things - it's just hard! Also, all my friends have babies that sleep long stretches don't cry, etc. It's maddening. My little guy is 17 weeks and today I drove to my parent's place (1 hour a way). He has not been to their place before (they would come to see me) and he was literally hysterical sobbing the whole time I was there. Then I was in a huge tie-up on the highway and because I wasn't moving, he sobbed and sobbed so much he was coughing. I was crying!! I couldn't do anything as I was stuck in the traffic. Finally, the cars moved, he quieted and went to sleep. Now we are home and things are okay. Just want to say, hey, these things happen with little babies. Just take a deep breath and take one day at a time. You will make it through this!
 
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