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Thread: In serious need of SLEEP - help?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default In serious need of SLEEP - help?

    I really need ideas. I've been working with the NCSS a bit over the last month and we're not progressing. If anything, she's gotten WORSE.

    Stats: healthy almost 5 month old LO. Nursing and co-sleeping. We are in bed by 8 and I need to get up at 4:45 to pump.

    I have to go down with her or she won't even lay down. If I get up, she wakes up 100% of the time. I have NEVER been able to slip out of bed after she falls asleep the first time.

    She sleeps for about 30 min and then is up and wants to eat again (althrough she just drained both boobs for about 10 min each side) and won't settle back to sleep till about 9:30.

    At 9:30, she's down till 12:30 almost like clockwork. Then we start the every hour thing to eat for 10-15 min - which has culminated in a WIDE AWAKE BABY at 3AM for the last 6 nights. I have been feeding her and trying to put her back to sleep. If I keep her in bed, she won't fall back asleep. If I take her and put her in the swing, she sleeps till we have to leave for daycare at 6:40.

    At daycare she's pretty consistent with naps - one for about 2 hrs in the morning and one for about 1.5 hrs in the early afternoon.

    So, if you add that all up, we're talking about very little sleep for a 5 month old! (6.5 or so interrupted hours at night and 3.5 hrs naps)

    I know she's got to be tired! I am exhausted and just can't keep up much longer.

    If we go to bed earlier, that really means I am coming home from work, feeding her, doing dinner, bath and then bed. There will be no time to sit down and play at ALL.

    I was feeding her right after dinner and then I would go take a nap till about 8:30. Daddy was watching her for my nap.... but then she'd be so tired/wired by the time I got up that she wouldn't sleep till 10.

    On one hand I don't want to push her out of our bed - I tried the bassinet around 10 weeks and she'd have nothing to do with it. She screamed like she was being pinched. The idea of moving her down the hall to her crib is really starting to look like the impossible - as much as Mom getting some actual sleep at night.


    I want to continue to nurse and co-sleep at night but I think I may NEED to find a way to sleep before I can't function any more.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: In serious need of SLEEP - help?

    Has her night waking recently increased?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: In serious need of SLEEP - help?

    Is there any music she associates with going to sleep? Or that helps her sleep? What about white noise? Double swaddling at 3 am to overcome her restlessness.

    My baby is not a good sleeper either so I commiserate. But if you count the sleeping time in the swing she is getting more sleep than you list. Eventually she will outgrow the sling so it would be good to work out a different go-to-sleep strategy before then. CERTAIN music really helps us quiet down a wide awake baby- Tom Waits-Bawlers and some minimalist composers like steve Reich.
    Good luck!
    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: In serious need of SLEEP - help?

    I feel for you

    My son is a terrible sleeper. He is 9 months old and I still nurse him on demand 24/7 including throughout the night. He is VERY inconsistant and always has been. Sometimes he sleeps though the night (I must then get up to pump around 2am) and sometimes he is up every other hour.

    I found that I had better results when I put him to bed later (which is against everything I have ever read, but works for us) - between 9-10pm. He is always held/rocked and nursed to sleep every single night (WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN CIO!)

    We use a lullaby CD (same one every night and it does seem to soothe him).

    And he does have a special "sleepies" blanket that always remains in his crib "waiting for him to come to bed at night". He loves this.

    We have tried the very strict bedtime routine thing that is always suggested, but for us, it doesn't seem to matter what we do. Either he will sleep or he will not and whether or not his dinner, bath, story, etc was on-time or completely missed never mattered.

    Another thing that has worked for us is never allowing him to leave his room after he is put to bed (this eliminated "wide awake baby at 3am"). We will however pick him up out of his crib and hold him any time he cries. And we always stay until he has fallen back to sleep (sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 20+). But he never leaves that room and the light is never turned on (he has a night light). He knows that he is not leaving that room and that he is there to sleep. We lovingly help him get back to sleep (and we have no idea what wakes him) but it is not an option to NOT go back to sleep! There is no playing, not even talking allowed. Just hold/rock/nurse - soothe.

    The one thing that helped ME a ton was splitting the night shift with my husband - he takes 10pm-2am and I take 2am-6am. The bedtime nursing is between 9pm-10pm at which time I put him in his crib asleep. Then I go to bed. My husband then handles all "wake-ups" until 2am. He comes to bed at 2am (not unusual for him - he is a night owl) and I take over. Which usually means a nursing somewhere bewteen 2am and 3am and then any other wake-ups (and nursings) until 6am (when I get up for work anyway). However, during my husbands shift, if LO really needs to nurse, he knows he can wake me.

    We don't co-sleep - while I love the idea, and tried it for the first 5 months, I had the same problem as you - my son woke up every, single time I moved. My husband finally said "either he is out or I am!" and we put the baby in his crib in his own room. In our case, he was actually happy in his crib - I don't think he liked sleeping with us!

    Well I hope that something I said might help you! Good Luck!

    And just remember that they are only little for a very short time, and no matter what we have to go through, it is all worth it

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Brussels, Belgium

    Default Re: In serious need of SLEEP - help?

    Hi mama, how about using babywearing to wear baby down to sleep? Even if LO doesn't fall asleep at all, which would be something short of a miracle if being worn for an hour, LO would have rest and quiet time--and you too. Fathers can be wonderful babywearers to give mums a rest at home. See what your partner thinks.

    Also, do you feel it's okay to give yourself permission to temporarily reduce evening interaction time with babywearing by you or your partner or another family/household member so you can rest and get some sleep? You'll know in your heart if you need that right now. It's a lovely thing what a couple nights of rest can do for your spirits, and the truth is, a held baby is a loved baby. There will be no permament damage at all if baby is worn a couple evenings while you putter around to make yourself some dinner. At first LO might have a few things to say about the change in routine, but doing a different, loving activity is really okay.

    If you were a passenger on a plane and the oxygen level dropped, you'd be responsible to put on your mask first then help your children. If your reserves are running low, then it is a loving choice as a mother to take care of yourself so you can be the mother you want to be.

    There are some baby scarf knots that can be undone so LO can be placed on the bed directly to sleep, but with my LO our baby carrier, a structured-type thing like Manduca an Ergo sell, worked best for laying LO down to sleep.

    It might also take some investigating which type of sling LO likes. A gf said her DD hates the 'sleepy wrap' baby scarf, but bought a carrier model this week and her LO is content. Does your local seller offer rentals?

    Also I'd take consolation in the fact that LO sleeps at the DCP. How does she fall asleep? You can be certain that they can't go through a long routine to get LO down for naps. This means that LO is capable of sleeping more independently, and eventually that independent time will translate into sleeping better at home. I was astonished at how my DD became more capable of shortening the time between rubbing her eyes and closing them to sleep after several months of being at the crèche.

    Lastly, some might no agree with me on this, but I think if one's psychological/physical reserves are at a critical point, it is a better and more loving option to put LO in a safe spot--like a crib without blankets--and take time for yourself to catch your breath. You can be almost certain LO will protest over this and cry, but there is a difference IMO between using CIO as an intentional method to 'teach' a baby to fall asleep in a crib, and putting a baby in a safe place while you take a time-out to regroup. One is to do repeatedly to produce an effect in another, and that effect may be a sleeping but apathetic and distressed baby who feels abandoned, and another is to make a choice to priortize being the person and mother you want to be, while realizing in our contemporary world we don't live in the close communities we used to live in where another mother would have stepped in to give you a break. Since it's just for you to regroup, it's not a repeated, long-term habit which is where, I think, babies might learn to feel abandoned. But I'm not a baby, so it's just guessing. I've seen the tragic news reports of mothers who didn't respect their limits, and that makes me think that taking a mothering time-out is ultimately a better choice than running oneself into the ground.
    Last edited by @llli*bxlgirl; March 18th, 2011 at 07:50 AM. Reason: time-outs
    Katharine in Belgium
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    DD2 Feb 2015 - natural birth VBAC with DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

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