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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the other threads got me thinking . . .<br><br>
Let's say it is a given that it's developmentally normal for young children to wake frequently during the night (say every 2 or so hours), and they will begin "sleeping through" when they are ready. Also, sleeping "well" is relative to the individual child, as long as they are healthy and full of energy otherwise.<br><br>
Sounds good so far . . . so, here's my concern:<br><br>
But what about me? It is not healthy for <i>me</i> to be tired and burnt out. It is possible ot reach a balance between his needs/developmental stages and my <b>very real</b> need for sleep?<br><br>
My DS is 11 months old, and we have been cosleeping from the beginning. We don't have the comfortable night time nursing relationship that many others seem to have. I come fully awake 90% of the time and he wakes up anywhere from 1 to 2 hours every night. I also have a hard time sleeping with him next to me -- it makes my arm go numb, I can't relax, my back hurts, even with pillows, etc -- so I put him in his crib after he nurses, which is side-carred with our bed.<br><br>
I am beat, both physically and emotionally. The very idea of CIO makes me ill, but what is the balance?
 

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I'm in the same situation here. DYING for some sleep!!
 

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Yeah - I wish I had advice or wisdom here. I've been thinking about this thread all night and I don't know what to say.<br><br>
You do need to take care of yourself. You won't be a good mother if you are completely sleep deprived. How to get that sleep and meet the needs of dc without involving another person ... seems, nearly impossible as far as I can tell.<br><br>
I think though, if at all possible you should enlist some help from your dp, and just try and take a night or two off. Feed bm from a sippy cup or bottle if necessary - but take care of yourselves.
 

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When I got to this point (and I remember 11 months being one of our low points), I put the burden on my DH to help me. I felt it was better to drop a burden on him than on my DD (who was behaving exactly as her biology should). I told him I had to have him help me first thing in the morning--he took her for at least an hour and sometimes 2 before he went to work and I got to sleep a bit more. To make that possible, we had to work hard to get her to bed early. It wasn't great for him to be up at 5 or 6am, but I desperately needed that time to sleep.<br><br>
And it was a phase. And it did pass. Those teeth came in and she finally slept. And DH got to sleep in later. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies -- it helps knowing that I am not the only one on MDC with cosleeping issues!<br><br>
Unfortunately, my DH cannot help out regularly. He is a truck driver and MUST sleep. He works 10 to 12 hour shift 4 or 5 days a week, and it would not be safe for him to be sleep deprived. He helps out when he can, but it is usually only once or twice a week. Not nearly enough to make up for getting woken up as much as I do.<br><br>
I guess it is frustating for me to hear that "this too shall pass." Especially when people IRL have babies that sleep. How can it be that the best thing to do for my child can be so bad for me? Are all of these parents with sleeping children damaging them emotionally?<br><br>
I feel like I must be missing something here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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If you haven't already seen it, I would recommend <a href="http://www.mothering.com/guest_editors/quiet_place/141.html" target="_blank">this</a> article.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
From the article by Peggy:<br>
* Accept night waking as normal.<br>
* Sleep when the baby sleeps.<br>
* Don't turn on the light or change diapers when the baby wake at night to nurse.<br>
* Don't count how many times you're awake at night.<br>
* Don't look at the clock in the middle of the night.<br>
* Nap on weekends, or whenever you can get help with the baby.<br>
* Carry on.<br><br>
All of these sound like good advice. And I concede most of it. But, I have to admit, I still feel a sense of frustration with this type of advice. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
"Carry on" -- okay, but I am a NASTY person when I don't sleep. This is not a matter of learning to live with it. This is a matter of really, truely not being able to cope.<br><br>
My ability to deal with the natural needs of a young child dispears. And, although I am not proud of it, I begin to dislike DS. I have even used the word hate. I become so angry. And I begrudge him his incessent nursing. It never seems to stop!!!<br><br>
It just doesn't seem right. So, I am at a loss because I love him so much and he is so very precious. I guess some of this is a vent. Thanks for "listening." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Okay, so I'll just put it out there.... you need to make a change. I know I am going to make one soon, when ds is close to a year. I am not a great mom right now. I am not going to CIO (especially alone!!!), but let's be honest here....when things need to change, children don't like it as it is different from their normal routine. They get upset when this happens. If we are consistent, they usually conform to the routine. If not, then something isn't right and it is a need. So, there will be a little crying....but we are there to comfort them. I am not so sure why some here have the goal of absolutely not crying.
 

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FWIW your DC is 11 months old, and Dr Jay Gordon's method of nightweaning suggests that it's doable at 12 months *if* you feel comfortable with it:<br><br><a href="http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp" target="_blank">http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp</a><br><br>
I am not speaking from experience here, but I've heard nightweaning can make a huge difference to us mamas. And I feel your pain - I have lots of discomfort cosleeping some nights, yet we do it. My DD is almost 9 months now and right now sleep is getting better (no idea if I'll be writing your post over again in a couple months though!).<br><br>
The pillows behind the back help, and a very particular "posture" helps me (my knees up, the under-side arm a certain way, etc). Some nights I have little pain, other nights I am waiting for 6 AM to strike so that I can get out of my pretzel position.<br><br>
Also - stretch! Stretch before bed like you're about to run a marathon. This has helped me lots. Good luck!
 

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During these times, what helps me is staying in bed, and dozing back off, the <i>whole time</i> my girls are asleep (this is about 10 hours each night, plus I rest with my toddler when she takes her afternoon nap, about 1-2 hours). If I only allowed myself to lie down for 8 hours, I'd definitely be tired because of waking to nurse.<br><br>
I see it as night duty -- and if I have an especially wakeful night, I go easy on myself as far as what I expect to get accomplished the next day.<br><br>
I feel great doing this -- not guilty at all. I think mothering is really a job where the job-description ebbs and flows according to the primary needs of each season. When night-time needs are really strong, it stands to reason that some things'll have to "give" in the daytime.<br><br>
Just as we'd understand if our husbands were on the night shift, and especially if they had to work some overtime, that we might have to "go easy" on them when they were at home -- we need to show ourselves the same understanding.
 

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Personally I would nightwean in your situation. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>FireFrog</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8184649"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One of the other threads got me thinking . . .<br><br>
Let's say it is a given that it's developmentally normal for young children to wake frequently during the night (say every 2 or so hours), and they will begin "sleeping through" when they are ready. Also, sleeping "well" is relative to the individual child, as long as they are healthy and full of energy otherwise.<br><br>
Sounds good so far . . . so, here's my concern:<br><br>
But what about me? It is not healthy for <i>me</i> to be tired and burnt out. It is possible ot reach a balance between his needs/developmental stages and my <b>very real</b> need for sleep?<br><br>
My DS is 11 months old, and we have been cosleeping from the beginning. We don't have the comfortable night time nursing relationship that many others seem to have. I come fully awake 90% of the time and he wakes up anywhere from 1 to 2 hours every night. I also have a hard time sleeping with him next to me -- it makes my arm go numb, I can't relax, my back hurts, even with pillows, etc -- so I put him in his crib after he nurses, which is side-carred with our bed.<br><br>
I am beat, both physically and emotionally. The very idea of CIO makes me ill, but what is the balance?</div>
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It's unhelathy for you AS WELL as the baby. I highly reccomend The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>D_McG</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8195607"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Personally I would nightwean in your situation. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:</div>
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Don't worry! I won't throw tomatoes 'cause I like 'em so much.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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My DD wakes several times a night, too. Some mornings I wake up just as tired as when I went to bed. But I'm not sure if I understand where the temptation to CIO comes into play. Besides my moral objections to it, as far as I can tell, it doesn't even really work. Everyone I know IRL who did has had sleep problems crop up again down the road. And early nightweaning just seems to take one of your tools out of your nighttime parenting toolbox.<br><br>
I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's not really mama vs baby, as much as it should be about better support from the rest of our families. Babies are meant to wake up at night, but mamas aren't really meant to do all the stuff we heap upon them alone in the modern world.
 

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I learned the very hard way that when mama tries to do it all the way the 'experts' say, it becomes a HUGE burden on her. I always put dd to sleep, always nursed her back to sleep, ect. And 2 years later, she freaks when dh is even in the room as I'm trying to put her dwon, wakes ALOT, naps infrequently....all of this leading to a very tired, stressed out mama. I am also not very nice on little to no sleep. We are currently trying to nghtwean, and get dh more involved with the night wakings/routines. It's very hard though.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>FireFrog</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8193553"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My ability to deal with the natural needs of a young child dispears. And, although I am not proud of it, I begin to dislike DS. I have even used the word hate. I become so angry. And I begrudge him his incessent nursing. It never seems to stop!!!</div>
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Would you hate him if he wouldn't/couldn't potty train when you want him to? Would you hate him if he cried for you during the day after falling down or because of teething pain? Would you hate him if he wouldn't eat when you told him to? Nightwaking is as normal as these other challenges.<br><br>
There are gentle ways to work with this (the No Cry Sleep Solution is good, nightweaning works for some babies). But not if you don't change your expectations about what a baby is capable of.
 

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I nightweaned at 12 months for exactly this reason. Lack of sleep was making me very unhappy and messing with my relationships. The night weaning wasn't traumatic for ds, which made me think he wasn't actually hungry (though he'd been nursing every couple of hours). Ds and dh slept together for a couple of weeks while I slept in a different room and I became sane again. I would have heard if ds was really upset - I'm a very light sleeper - and he just never was.<br><br>
Editing to add that the night weaning turned out not to be a permanent thing. I guess it lasted a couple of months? Enough to make me feel better and teach ds other ways of soothing, and then he got a cold or bug or something and was back on. He has been on and off drinking at night since then (he's 2.5), but the difference is that it no longer feels like it is bad for me.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Herausgeber</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8195828"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My DD wakes several times a night, too. Some mornings I wake up just as tired as when I went to bed. But I'm not sure if I understand where the temptation to CIO comes into play. Besides my moral objections to it, as far as I can tell, it doesn't even really work. Everyone I know IRL who did has had sleep problems crop up again down the road. And early nightweaning just seems to take one of your tools out of your nighttime parenting toolbox.<br><br>
I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's not really mama vs baby, as much as it should be about better support from the rest of our families. Babies are meant to wake up at night, but mamas aren't really meant to do all the stuff we heap upon them alone in the modern world.</div>
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Yeah, that! I honestly don't understand how night-weaning helps a mother sleep, anyway. The process she'd have to go through to get there seems more tiring than just co-sleeping and nursing.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mammal_mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8199120"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yeah, that! I honestly don't understand how night-weaning helps a mother sleep, anyway. The process she'd have to go through to get there seems more tiring than just co-sleeping and nursing.</div>
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The only thing that I would add to that is that it really depends on the child and the situation. If the levels of fatigue and frustration from night nursing become quite severe, then it is definitely not more difficult to find a more workable solution for both mama and baby. If co-sleeping and night nursing are working well, then of course it would be probably best for everyone to keep it that way, but it if is not working to a severe degree, then change is always better.<br><br>
I love what some people have suggested about the idea that the real responsibility should be from the rest of the families surrounding the mama and baby, rather than expecting the mama to be a superhero in the day and night. However, a whole lot of us just don't live in that type of world anymore. We live alone in our houses. Two DPs and a babe. That's it. Maybe more than one kiddo or only one DP, as well, making daytime responsibilities even more difficult to rest from, even for a day or two, much less for months on end.<br><br>
We also had terrible co-sleeping and night nursing issues. By 15 months, my DS was waking every 45-min to an hour to nurse, and I sadly, was also the type of mama that couldn't stay asleep during the nursing sessions. I was emotionally and physically a wreck. I napped every time he rested in the day, and did all the other suggestions that I have read. But it just wasn't working in a very awful, awful way. He was also cranky most days, and a very poor eater. This had been getting progressively worse since he was 9 mos. old. However, I was very nervous emotionally to night-wean. I had somehow decided that if I did that, I would be a "bad" mommy to him.<br><br>
Well, thankfully, I had some supportive mostly-AP mommies around me who told me that I wasn't "bad" at all for seeing that our situation wasn't working well for either of us, and that no matter what it was, something had to change.<br><br>
We night-weaned at 15 and a half months, by having me sleep in the other room, and though my son did fuss when I wasn't there when he woke up, it was not all out crying or anything, because I wasn't even there to be tempting. After the first three nights, he began to wake only a couple of times a night!! Now, three months later, our relationship is so much better because I am simply a better mother to him in the days, and he is so much more rested and happy, as well. Also, his appetite for table food jumped after he stopped getting so many calories from milk at night. He is far from being an "easy" sleeper, if such a child exists<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">, but things are working now, and they weren't before. BTW, we all do still co-sleep. I was only out of the room for a couple of weeks, and then DS pretty much forgot that he used to nurse in bed.<br><br>
Sorry to be so long-winded, but I will end with saying that if you are generally a confident, happy, AP mom, and you encounter a situation that is just not working for you, then it is the right thing to do to make changes that make it work. Don't worry about experts or opinions, as much as just focus on what makes your happy, attached family work well together.<br><br>
Good luck!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rzberrymom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8197199"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Would you hate him if he wouldn't/couldn't potty train when you want him to? Would you hate him if he cried for you during the day after falling down or because of teething pain? Would you hate him if he wouldn't eat when you told him to? Nightwaking is as normal as these other challenges.<br><br>
There are gentle ways to work with this (the No Cry Sleep Solution is good, nightweaning works for some babies). But not if you don't change your expectations about what a baby is capable of.</div>
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I understand what your point here is; however, I don't think that nighttime waking and potty training are the same. Sleeping is a need for both of us, whereas the method he uses for going to the bathroom is not. I am perfectly able to function if he uses a diaper, but not if he continues to wake four or more times a night. And this is not a preference on my part -- it is a <i>physical need</i>.<br><br>
Thank you to all of you who responded. I am still not sure what we will do, but it is nice to know that others think a change is needed, too.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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