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Please tell me I am not the only one who's baby will not settle at the breast at night.

DS is almost 8 months old. I have tried everything. I take him into bed to nurse and sleep and he just squirms and moans so I put him in the sling and bounce him on the ball. Again, squirming and moaning. Last night he got really upset and started crying so I took him back to bed to nurse and he eventually fell asleep. I am usually able to get him to sleep after about 45 minutes of bouncing on the ball in the sling just to get up an hour later to repeat the process all over again. Once I have him a asleep in the sling, I have tried putting him in his crib and taking him into bed with us. It doesn't make a difference. He just can't seem to sleep longer than an hour or two. The fact that he doesn't sleep longer than two hours doesn't really bother me, it is the fact that I have to GET UP OUT OF BED every two hours and BOUNCE ON THE EXERCISE BALL. I don't understand why he can't just wake, nurse and go back to sleep with me. Each time he wakes up, I nurse and hope he falls back asleep but I usually have to get up and sling him and bounce him. By the time I fall asleep it seems like he is up again.

It seems like he wants to sleep but for some reason can't settle on the breast, so I have tried giving him a pacifier so that he can suck to sleep without having milk come at him. This works some of the time but I usually still have to get up and put him in the sling and bounce on the ball.

This has been going on for months now and I don't know what do to. Last night he has up four times before midnight. Man that makes for a lonnnnggg night.....I am starting to feel resentful, DH and I are fighting because we are both so exhausted, and my back hurts. I already injured my knee pretty seriously walking the stairs in our house trying to get him to sleep at 3am.

Has anyone had any experience with a co-sleeping baby who won't nurse to sleep at night or settle on the breast?

P.S. Tried rocking but he doesn't like that. Not enough movement I guess.
 

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YES!!! I have one of those and almost the same age (Nov 12 / 05). He has needed movement to sleep since birth - I also use a bouncy ball. It's actually much more convenient than a rocking chair as you can deflate it and take it on the road (we have done alot of travelling since he was born). Recently he has been sleeping longer stretches (2-3 hours) but still needs that ball bouncing to go back to sleep whether he's sleeping with me or in the crib (we do both). And he did outgrow the need to be bounced for his entire nap - now it just takes a few minutes then I can lay him down and he's fine sleeping while still. It is exhausting and hard on the back and I, too, have wondered why I don't have one of those babies who can just nurse to sleep but I don't. I think he will just outgrow it eventually - well obviously he will at some point. A couple months ago I tried the ideas in the No Cry Sleep Solution to decrease the dependance on bouncing and it worked a bit but then we went away again and we are back to square one. Basically I was trying to very, very gradually bounce him a little less each time before putting him down. Sometimes he would wake up again and we would start again. But over time it was taking less time to get him back to sleep after each waking. I may try it again but right now he is not doing too badly mostly because he is not waking as frequently. Hope things get better for you.
 

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Well my dd turns 1 on Sunday and graduated from needing to be bounced on the ball to needing to be walked in order to get her to sleep. I must admit at a year this is starting to get old and there are times when I really regret taking the gentle AP route when it comes to sleep.
:

With my eldest who is 14 now, I never had to bounce or rock and by 1 he slept on his own. I know every child is different but still....

Good luck!

Shay
 

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I sympathise totally.

I've just been having the joy of the same experience. dd2 is now 12 months old and has just started rejecting the boob in favour of me pacing up and down. This never happened with dd1 - its a real downer and I'm worn out. I didn't realise how 'lucky' I was that is was so easy just to nurse dd1 back to sleep.

Come to think of it dd1 was always much more into nursing than dd2.

Am not sure how to go ahead. Does anyone know about the 'in arms crying' approach? -I have to say I'm not keen on doing that at 12 months (my personal feelings only, not a comment on anyone else). dd1 was 2/5 before I nightweaned her. This would be nightweaning from pacing around rather than nightweaning from the boob.

sigh.
 

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Once he's down, but needs to nurse, do you nurse him in the side-lying position? It's a nightmare trying to get my daughter back to sleep if I pick her up, or even wait until she wakes all the way, to nurse. The moment she starts to stir, I pop the boob in.

My daughter's in the middle of another phase of having a difficult time going down for naps and at night, so you have my empathy.
 

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I have one of those babies..she is almost 11 months now. The past 2 months have been much better. During the night when she wakes up I can stick the boob back in her mouth and she will usually go back to sleep w/out having to get out the bed. So hang in there, I'm sure it will get easier soon. Also not sure if someone mentioned already-have you thought about food senstivity?
 

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OMG- We are doing the SAME exact thing every night with our DD who is 8 months old. One good thing, DH bounces, Then I nurse to sleep and she sleeps 10 hours through tht night.

BUT WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS??
 

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Hi. I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. My ds#1 needed to bounce to sleep in the sling for several months when he was little, and it was killer - and that wasn't even in the middle of the night, just the first time.

I want to second the food sensitivity issue. Has your dc started solids as this is going on? A friend has a little one who was not able to nurse back to sleep at night due to discomfort, and she finally figured out that her intake of chocolate and dairy impacted the nighttime issues a lot.

After going through so much with ds#1, I sort of put my foot down with ds#2. I would not sling/bounce him to sleep like I'd done his brother. I just couldn't do the same things, given the need to take care of a 2yo at the same time. Anyway, my ds#2 has been easier in general, so he didn't "complain" too much. All this to say, after going through the situation carefully, if you think your ds's need to bounce & sling is just habit, you can gently start weaning him from it. It might mean several nights of real difficulty, as you refuse to comfort him in that specific way.

Good luck!
 

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I just thought of something that might help in the middle of the night to help DC go back to sleep on their own. After you nurse them, etc.. our DD would want to play. So we would put her in her crib with a one of those little aquarium toys attatched to the side. She would watch that and fall back asleep on her own.

Might help.
 

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Ugh. Me too. DS is 15 months, and will crawl all over me and cry, some nights every 30 minutes, until I pick him up and walk him. Nursing just doesn't do it for him anymore. Rocking doesn't work either (at least then I could sleep sitting up). I've read every book and tried every alternative. It can't last forever, right?
 
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