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Discussion Starter #1
My DS is almost 4 months old and although I am grateful for how easy he is at night, I am looking for ideas or tips on how I can possibly get him to sleep for longer stretches. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/Sheepish.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sheepish">:<br><br>
He usually goes down anywhere from 6:30pm to 8:30pm and then wakes when we come to bed (we co-sleep) around 11pm or midnight. I feed him, burp him and change him and then we go to sleep until he usually wakes up again around 2:30am. He is VERY easy to nurse back to sleep and often times I wake up later with my boob out because I've fallen asleep while nursing - and so has he! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> He wakes up again around 4:30am or 5:00am and we do our same routine, but usually when he falls back asleep this time around, I notice that his sleep is less restful because he squirms and rolls over a lot, which I have a hard time sleeping through. I usually attribute it to him having to poop or possibly gas bubbles from feeding all night (even though I burp him), but I can't be sure. He wakes up again around 7:30am or so and most of the time I can get him to nurse back to sleep again until 9:30am. He also rolls over a lot and likes to sleep on his belly, which has made his digestion so much better.<br><br>
I really don't mind this schedule because it's not like I have to do much to get him to fall back asleep, BUT... I would LOVE it if we could cut out just one of his wakings, giving me (and him) some longer stretches. :yawning:<br><br>
I was talking to a friend today and she was saying that she thinks if you "tank" your baby up during the day that he/she will sleep longer at night because they won't need to feed as often. It sounds logical to me, but I also know that babies don't just nurse because they're hungry, so maybe there is no changing how many times he wakes up during the night by feeding him more during the day - maybe he just needs the comfort? Also, I BF on demand, so I don't want to "force" him to feed more during the day if he's not really in the mood. Although I don't know how you force a baby to feed, so that probably wouldn't be an issue - spitting up usually would take care of that, I guess! :puke<br><br>
I'd love to hear any suggestions!
 

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All babies are different, so keep that in mind with what I put out there! Different things worked more or less for both of my boys. And my second is a much more challenging sleeper...he sleeps great, but he loves to nurse pretty frequently while he does it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I wonder if you can minimize the wakefulness of that midnight feeding. Does he really need to be changed? If he isn't pooping at night, I would just keep in the diaper all night...unless it's cloth and getting too wet.<br><br>
I've noticed with both of my boys that the early morning hours are less deep sleep for them. From about 4am on or so they squirm more and wake more easily and therefore nurse more frequently. This has now changed with my soon to be 1 year old, but he woke a lot from about 4am on until recently.<br><br>
I think a lot of it is developmental and not so much hunger. There brains just do sleep much differently than our adult brains. And nursing is so comforting...if you don't mind the routine you have, I'd just go with it. Before you know it, it will change.
 

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This article really helped me understand what goes on at that age. <a href="http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/4mo-sleep.html" target="_blank">Wakeful 4 Month Olds</a><br><br>
And this one is helpful with understanding nightwaking. I really wish I had read it when my DD was a baby. <a href="http://www.mothering.com/guest_editors/quiet_place/141.html" target="_blank">Sleeping with your Baby</a>
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wouldn't you know, I got greedy and wanted DS to sleep more and what did he do last night... wake up even more! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/duh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="duh"> This whole thing is so puzzling because there's not just one thing that I attribute his waking to. It's probably teething, having just learned to roll over, wanting to crawl, normal growing, being more aware, gas, possibly being hungry etc. etc. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: I think I am just going to keep doing what I've been doing and accept that this is how it is. Yes, I am tired, I wouldn't say sleep-deprvied, but tired indeed, but DS is happy, healthy and super active, so aside from this being a pain in the butt, things are going great otherwise. Although it does seem like some sort of ironic injustice that breastfeeding moms shouldn't have caffeine.<br><br>
swampangel - thanks for your post! No, DS is not pooping in the middle of the night (usually), but when we come to bed (he's been asleep for about 3 hours), his diaper feels full, like it needs changing. And, when I nursed him to sleep, he has usually had a huge meal, so I think that's why it's so full. But that poses another question - perhaps we should be using different diapers, maybe some nighttime kind? We use Seventh Generation disposables which are called a "thin" diaper and we love them because he can move around in them so well, but maybe they get too full too quickly at night and if we used something else we wouldn't have to change it as much and could keep DS sleeping better? What kind did/do you use (or anyone else out there)? Maybe our DS is just a heavy nighttime wetter? Also, I think you're right about it being a developmental thing because I just can't figure out how it could be that he's really hungry because most of the time when I nurse in the middle of the night, he sucks for such a short time and is back to sleep.<br><br>
rzberrymom - thanks too for those articles. I had read the one by Peggy, but was so happy to read the other one about 4-month-olds. So, it sounds like that nurse's article supports the theory that if you tank them up in the day (if you even can), they should sleep better at night. I think that in this case, it doesn't pertain to DS because last night for instance, I nursed him down around 8pm. Then he woke up again around 9pm and I nursed both sides with him forever, so I know he got really full, but he woke up again to nurse around 11pm! And, after a night of chopped up sleep for DS and I, he is fighting sleep today which boggles my mind because isn't this little active guy EVER tired!! I keep thinking one of these days he'll take an 8 hour nap to make up for all of this lost sleep!<br><br>
On an aside, it's makes me laugh/want to scream when I look over at DH in bed in the middle of the night and he's sleeping through all of this, including being kicked by DS. Not to mention that last night the people across the street had the loudest party ever (on a Wednesday night - what??) that kept me and the neighbors awake (at 1:30 am we conveined outside to discuss who was going to call the police - me with monitor in hand) and after 45 minutes of waiting for the police to shut it down, I go back to bed and DH is snoring, not having a clue what has been going on!!! I'm looking for the icon of the husband sleeping through a hurricane - hmmm guess they need to add that one.<br><br>
Thanks for listening.
 

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It's 'cause he's 4 months <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> It will get bad again at 6 months and a year.<br><br>
Hang in there!<br><br>
-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Angela - so when does it get better in between those times? Does is stay like this until he's 5 months and only give me a month break until 6 months hits? Thanks! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Some babies the bad seems to last a few days to a week... some babies the bad spells run right into eachother....<br><br>
I'll cross my fingers that yours is the first <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
-Angela
 

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Some babies the bad seems to last a few days to a week... some babies the bad spells run right into eachother....<br><br>
/QUOTE]<br><br>
With Luc it seems like the disruptions last around a week, sometimes two... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Mary
 

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Sounds pretty normal, I don't know that there is much you can do.<br><br>
Would you consider cloth diapers, if just for nighttime? Once we got fuzzibunz, we didn't need to change him at night at all. I remember being so incredibly thankful for not waking up to wet sheets.<br><br>
Ds had the same schedule as your little one, except he never slept until 9:30am. I ended up going to bed earlier to get my long stretch of sleep, and then waking up early, before ds, to have time to myself. That helped me.<br><br>
Also, turn the clock away from you. That might make you feel better too.
 

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Yep - it sounds pretty normal to me too. My dd (at 10 1/2 months) does the same thing. I just started reading no cry sleep solution by Pantley, and there are a lot of great tips in it for how to get a cosleeping breastfeeding baby to sleep longer (still in the family bed). I have just started trying some of the tips, and dd is taking longer naps now.... hopefully she will start sleeping better at night too! You might want to check it out!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hoopin' Mama - I would love to be able to wake up before DS to get some personal time - that's a good idea. But most of the time I am especially tired in the morning, so I don't know if I'll be able to do that until he's sleeping just a little bit better. About the cloth diapers... the funny thing is that we had been using cloth diapers until about a month ago and we made the switch to disposables because we were waking up to wet sheets with the cloth. We were using Little Beetle covers, which we liked, but it just seemed like DS was wetting so much at night that there was no way to make the cloth work without me changing them every couple of hours. Maybe when he's older and nursing/peeing less at night (if that happens) the cloth will be great again.<br><br>
Christianmama - With the No Cry Sleep Solution, I've heard that's it's better for babies older than my 4-month-old - what do you think - do you think it would help me now? Also, if you have a moment, what are just a few of the tips (I'm trying to see if it's up my alley or not)! Thanks <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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The book kind of assumes that the problem is that baby is relying on the nipple to fall asleep, which is exactly the problem we have (dd cannot fall asleep without her milkies! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> )<br>
There are separate suggestions for babies under 4 months, and babies over 4 months. I only read the parts for over 4 months (my dd is 10 months). Some of the suggestions I am using:<br>
Pick a phrase that you repeat as the baby is falling asleep (for ex. shhh...it is sleepy time for baby) - the baby comes to associate this with sleep, so then later on, after the association is formed, you can say the words and it will signal to the baby that it is time to go to sleep.<br>
Introduce a "lovey" - stuffed animal or blanket - when nursing baby to sleep, keep lovey near you - baby will associate lovey with sleep, and then the lovey will help baby sleep later on.<br>
Slowly try to break the association of 'sucking to sleep'. (she describes a gradual process to do this).<br>
Create a predictable nighttime routine. Keep lights dim, room quiet for the hour preceding sleep to signal that night time is coming.<br>
Watch for the FIRST sign of tiredness, and then put baby down for nap or night. Many people wait until baby is overtired, which actually hinders baby from sleeping well.<br>
We just started these things this past week, and surprisingly, dd is falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer for naps. We are still nursing to sleep (we haven't started breaking the sucking association yet) She is still waking just as much at night though. The author does say that this is NOT an overnight solution - it can take months to get baby to sleep through the night, but it is worth it.<br>
Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck!
 

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My theory is if they eat a lot in the day, they don't wake as much at night. My ds fed at least every hour, sometimes more during the day from newborn but he always slept really well at night. He would wake about 4am for a feed but that was all. I basically plopped a boob in his mouth everytime he cried which seemed to satisy him but it did mean he had <i>a lot</i> of feeds! (in daytime). I am pretty sure that is why he slept so well at night because during the day he did not sleep for long periods at all. So yeah, I think if you feed more in daytime, they are less likely to wake at nightime. It was that way for us certainly! Good Luck x
 

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Discussion Starter #14
christianmama - thank you so much for your reply! Those sound like great ideas - I love the phrase and introducing a "lovey." Do you think 4 months is too early for the "lovey?" I agree about trying to put the baby down at the first sign of tiredness - sometimes that works great and I feel amazed that he went down so easy and quietly, but you know, then there are those times when you've tried everything for two hours and are like, "Okay, maybe he's just not tired!" It's so hard to get the timing just right, but it is awesome when it works out. I had heard about the nighttime routine thing and so I tried it last night and it must've been beginner's luck because it worked like a charm. I got the bedroom dim, but I lit a lightly-scented lavender candle where he could see it so the flickering would maybe mesmerize him to sleep. Then, I got a warm washcloth with lavender oil on it and cleaned off his hands and feed and head. Then I whispered a few short books to him and started to nurse. He fed on both sides and then pulled off the boob and rolled over. He wasn't moving a muscle - he was sound asleep! I could not believe it! I had to tell myself that this was not going to happen every time so that I didn't start to get my hopes up. He still awoke plenty during the night and didn't give me any really long stretches, but I took the advice of not watching the clock and also going to bed earlier and that seemed to help. I am going to try some of your suggestions too and see how they work out. Thanks a ton for your response! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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they grow out of it. I know it's hard right now but night waking is a normal biologically correct thing for your baby to do. In any case 3-4 night wakings a night over a 12 hr period is really good for a 4 mo. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I have an almost 4 month old DS too and he has almost exactly the same pattern. I recommend Pampers Swaddlers for nighttime -- we almost never have leaks and he's pretty dry in the morning. I also try to take his morning nap with him. If I do, I'm pretty well rested. It's hard, but it's certainly gotten better since the beginning, hasn't it? That's what I tell myself. I've never felt anything like the sleep deprivation I felt at the beginning. Remembering that makes me feel better when I have a particularly rough night <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 #17
Wendylady - Thanks for the tip about the Pampers Swaddlers. You said your DS is pretty dry in the morning - is he nursing a bunch at night like my DS? I am also a big fan of taking that first nap with my DS - once I see his eyes shut I am like, "Yes!!!" and then I snuggle in and pray for more than an hour of sleep.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div style="font-style:italic;">It's hard, but it's certainly gotten better since the beginning, hasn't it? That's what I tell myself. I've never felt anything like the sleep deprivation I felt at the beginning. Remembering that makes me feel better when I have a particularly rough night <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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Actually, this whole thing was fairly easy until we hit 3-3.5 months. DH and I weren't sleep deprived at all and I was getting more sleep with DS than I did while I was still pregnant the month before he was born (using the bathroom at night, feeling so big and achy etc.), so this 4-month transition is a bit of a rude awakening! A friend of mine asked me, "So, are you coming out of the baby fog?" and I said, "We were never in it... until now!" I just have to keep telling myself that this will pass.<br><br>
Glad to know that I'm not alone out there! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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You are certainly not alone!<br><br>
My DS woke up every 1-3 hours for the first few months. Now that he wakes every 3-4 hours (sometimes he does 5-6 hour chunks), I'm super happy.<br><br>
Yeah, he nurses each time he wakes. The diapers are pretty soaked but they don't leak and his bottom is dry <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I'd prefer to use a diaper with less chemicals or whatever it is they put in those pampers, but it sure beats changing the diaper in the middle of the night!
 

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Wendylady - I hear you about the diapers! We were doing cloth and we really did like them for a while, but then we were waking up with soaked sheets and made the switch. Also, I think because we were using cloth diapers for a while, I was used to changing his diaper really frequently (which isn't a bad thing), so I think sometimes I just feel like his disposables need to be changed because that's what I was used to doing, but he could probably go much longer in them and still be dry. Deciding when to change him is like playing a game! Last night, I only changed him once and I kept waking up thinking, "I better change him," and then thinking I did, but I just dreamt it. But in the morning, yes his diaper was heavy and full, but he was dry (and so were the sheets) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Don't have any sleep tips but wanted to comment on the diapers.<br>
The first couple weeks after dd was born we used disposables and i changed her in the middle of the night. Then we swapped to homemade cloth and some prefolds, and i still changed her at night. Then we went to BumGenius & i cannot tell you how much i love them! I haven't changed her at night since. She eats as much as your dc does, but it hasn't been a problem. Some mornings they are pretty soaked, but it does wick away from her skin extremely well. My theory is if she is sleeping through it and not getting a rash i'm not going to disturb her to change her.<br><br>
i love the bumgenius. i bought them at <a href="http://www.cottonbabies.com" target="_blank">www.cottonbabies.com</a> they have great customer service.
 
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