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Thread: Don't Want to CIO- but EXHAUSTED!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Don't Want to CIO- but EXHAUSTED!!!

    Hello All,
    I am back for more encouragement and solace from a wonderful group of moms and ladies. (Sniffle). I am the mother of a baby boy, seven months old on January 1st. He was exclusively breastfed until his six-month birthday, at which time we started the baby-led weaning/feeding. When he was five months old he began teething his bottom incisors, and that is when the trouble began! He was waking up twice in the night for feedings up until that point. When he started teething, he was waking almost every hour for a couple of weeks, then dropped to three or four times a night. Everyone kept telling me it would get better when we started solid foods. I waited...and waited....and waited...
    At six months, we started solids- nothing too serious, avocado, sweet potato, pear.. He really liked it and took to it with gusto. He has eaten like a champ. I had to take a week off about sixteen days into it because he wasn't pooping, and was waking up at night gassy and cranky and uncomfortable. He has eaten again the last few days and seems to be more regular. He eats once with me in the morning and then all breast milk for the rest of the day/night. He nurses right before eating, but still eats a decent amount. His sleep has gotten HORRIBLE. He not only still wakes up at least three times to nurse, but either wakes an hour after going to bed and won't go back to sleep without screaming (in my arms or not), or he won't let me lay him down without waking up and screaming until I pick him up again. He will be sound asleep and as soon as I lay him down, he looks up at me and smiles, then starts screaming if I don't pick him up again. So for the last few night I have picked him up, gotten him to sleep again, and then fed him when he wakes every 2-3 hours for feedings. The problem is that I am working and I am tired, and I am cranky, and I really do not know how much longer I can do this without falling apart. I don't want to let him "cry it out" but I need to sleep so much! This is the hardest thing I have ever done, and I do not know what to do! I want to hug him and love him until he sleeps. I want to feed him if he is hungry, but I am becoming a shell of my former self for lack of proper sleep! Any thoughts would be SO appreciated!

    Hugs to you all for having survived this craziness!

    Megan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    TX
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    2,197

    Default Re: Don't Want to CIO- but EXHAUSTED!!!

    The first year is so difficult.

    My immediate thought is that babies sleep how they do, and there is not a whole lot we can do to change that. I have two children, both were lousy (!) sleepers. With the first, I actually did CIO. It was terrible. It was so, so, so hard to do! I sat outside her bedroom door, sobbing right along with her. And it really didn't help. She still woke up just as many times a night. And she cried every time. And developed some really strong aversions to bedtime. It was a terrible battle for years. Also, she didn't sleep through the night until she was 3.5-4 years old. With the second child, I nursed him longer, and coslept until he was 2+. He still (at almost 4) is not sleeping through the night. But it's better. He has no battles about going to bed, and we still respond to him when he wakes up.

    Have you thought about co-sleeping? If you sidecar the baby's crib to your bed, there will still be just as much room in your bed as there is now, but baby will be right there to tend to without really waking up. You can just roll over, latch him on, and fall back asleep. It was the only way I made it through my second child's terrible sleep habits with enough sleep.
    Last edited by @llli*duckpond; December 30th, 2011 at 07:16 PM.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,607

    Default Re: Don't Want to CIO- but EXHAUSTED!!!

    with the PP. If you're not co-sleeping, now is the time to try it. I know it may not be what you want, and you may even be afraid to do it, given all the anti-co-sleeping hysteria out there. But it really can buy you better sleep, and is safe when done safely. Tips available on request.

    I'm sorry you're going through such a hard time, mama. The sleepless nights just suck.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Don't Want to CIO- but EXHAUSTED!!!

    Thanks ladies,
    We did Co-sleep, I am definitely NOT afraid to do it again, but he does not like to nurse laying down, so even when he is in bed with me I have to sit up to feed him! We only had the moses basket because the bassinettes were too expensive that go next to the bed, but I have considered it lately because I am so tired. The moses basket is now too small for him, but something to think about..... maybe I can find a hand-me-down somewhere- because I agree that it would make life easier- even if I had to sit up, at least I would still be in bed! I would have to use the side-car thing, though, because this little man is a squirmer- he used to kick me all night long! Anyway, thanks- I will look around and see if I can find a bed-bassinette.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Don't Want to CIO- but EXHAUSTED!!!

    I'm going through the same thing! Glad you're not doing CIO either. (Please google the research based articles that talk about how CIO is bad for baby.) I let 6 mo DS sleep in his bouncer next to me when he doesn't want to stay in his crib. Many nights, as of late, I even put him in it after I nurse him, even thought he's awake. He's happy and content to be next to me and DH. Good luck. Hope this helps. Hang in there!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: Don't Want to CIO- but EXHAUSTED!!!

    Ok, not to put a target on myself, but we did end up doing CIO which I know is not looked upon highly around here... I am not going to say much about the research except make sure to look at the actual articles cited and what they define as CIO.

    Its not right for every baby, or parent for that matter, but for us it worked. We had been chugging along just fine for months, co-sleeping and all. He began insisting on being latched all night or he would thrash around and not settle. Then at around 7 months he started kicking and pushing against me even while latched. So we decided to try the Ferber-method because none of us were getting any sleep and ALL of us were miserable.

    I am not going to say it was easy, but I will say that on the other side of it his sleep is MUCH improved. Before, when he cried at night, I didn't know if he was hungry, if he was in pain, if he was cold, or if it was for comfort from me or papa. Now he only wakes when he wants to eat, which is usually 2 times between 7pm and 6:30am. Sometimes only once. Now, when he wakes multiple times per night we know something is "wrong" like teething pain, or an upset tummy. On those nights we just bring him to bed with us. There haven't been too many in the last month, but last night was one!

    He had one night that was rough for all of us while doing the CIO thing. We had to go to him several times in the span of an hour. But the other nights (2 others) he was asleep within 20 minutes. We also did it only on the first put down of the night, not on the other night wakings. At those times we would go to him when he woke and do all our old tricks (nursing or rocking). But he dropped many of those in the end anyway.

    I just wanted to tell you my experience with it, it doesn't have to be horrible. I was exhausted, too, and so was my baby. He is a lot happier during the day now, before he and I were both super cranky! I'd say if you find yourself sobbing during CIO its not the method for you. I never came close to crying because I could tell my son was just mad, not really in distress. I don't have any other advice because we tried other things, and they didn't seem to help. The only thing I think helped him sleep besides this was his VTech rabbit. Its in the corner of his crib and when he cries it comes on with a soft glow and soothing music. It really seems to calm him down if he's just mad, now when we put him down he kicks his feet on the matres until it comes on, then falls asleep, how cute!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Don't Want to CIO- but EXHAUSTED!!!

    Hmmmm. The nursing frequency sounds normal to me, as does the wanrting to be comforted to sleep. But what does not sound normal is the screaming, the not wanting to nurse sidelying, and not wanting to sleep well even if beside you.
    Is it possible this is related to discomfort from the solids after all? Or maybe GERD? Just some ideas.

    I know you are working, but can you nap when you get home, or catch up on sleep on your days off?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Don't Want to CIO- but EXHAUSTED!!!

    I tried bringing him to bed with me last night and I remembered why we stopped doing that in the first place! He slept fine, and woke up every two hours to nurse, but I was awake the whole time while he wriggled and squirmed and farted and kicked. Maybe if we had a King size bed we could do it, but it didn't go so well for me- I think I was sleeping better when I got up to feed him. ON a positive note, he did nurse laying down, so maybe when he was younger he had GERD or something. I guess for now we will just wait, and nap, LOTS of naps...... I am at a loss. We tried not doing solids, we tried solids, no change, but he seems happy eating, so I guess I will just keep on truckin'.... He did go to sleep on his own last night after a little bit of crying. Now if only he would sleep for four hours at a time! Thanks for listening anyway! Off for a nap....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: Don't Want to CIO- but EXHAUSTED!!!

    Ok, not to put a target on myself, but we did end up doing CIO which I know is not looked upon highly around here... I am not going to say much about the research except make sure to look at the actual articles cited and what they define as CIO.
    I totally agree with this. I know that many people don't like the CIO method, and I never leave my baby to cry in utter distress, but my 7 year old is a fabulous sleeper, happy girl, well-balanced kid who I made CIO, and my 7 month old is doing just fine with the same process.

    In the long run, I think we have to do what's best for our babies, our families, and our situations. Because we aren't in each other's houses and seeing the entire picture, it's hard to give clear-cut advice.

    With my 7 month old, we do a mix of the CIO. For instance, this morning's nap was a mixture of CIO and non-CIO. I knew something was wrong b/c he generally never cries going to sleep for a nap. Suddenly, today, he's flipping out. So, I went in to get him, and he's standing in his crib screaming for me, snot all over his face - but he's SLEEPY. So, I put him to the breast. I knew his diaper was clean, I knew he was tired, so the only thing left was hungry. Bingo. This time, I was right. I fed him, and then put him down for his nap.

    Yes, he got angry at me for putting him back down because I am SO much more fun than a nap, right? But, I know that THAT particular cry was more of a "curse you, Mommy!" rather than a "please God someone help me" cry.

    This is hard stuff. I'm really struggling with baby #2 b/c my oldest was 6 and highly independent when DS was born, she slept 630 to 630 since 6 months old. DS is 7 months and goes to bed by 7 but wakes at least once in the night. It's frustrating b/c you feel like there should be a simple answer - he should be JUST like her, right? - but they aren't machines, and there's no instruction manual.

    And there is NO WAY DS would let me co-sleep. He is one seriously mobile baby (already trying to walk), and any time I try to lie down with him, he crawls over me and tries to get off the bed.


    Good luck. I wish you many nights of good rest.
    Last edited by @llli*richmama; December 31st, 2011 at 09:26 AM.
    Miss Sassy Pants 1/9/05 BF 13 months
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Don't Want to CIO- but EXHAUSTED!!!

    Maybe if we had a King size bed we could do it, but it didn't go so well for me- I think I was sleeping better when I got up to feed him.
    Well, you said it. A larger bed often makes all the difference. We upgraded to a king after number 2 was born (and somehow squezzed it into our teeny bedroom) and it was a whole new world. This time of year is usually a good time to pick up some bargains so... Other alternatives-putting mattresses on the floor and putting your baby on a mattress or pallet next to yours mattress? Just make sure there is no possiblity of a crevice forming that baby could roll into. This would allow you to nurse bb to sleep and then roll baby back onto his mattress.

    But obviously it is best to do what works for you. Just because many moms find bedsharing leads to more sleep, some moms certainly do not, so that is not going to work well in those cases.

    I hate to mention this, as I think it is way over "diagnosed" but is there any possibility baby is having a sensitivity to something in your diet? Like dairy or wheat? These can cause sleep issues. Again, I don't find that kind of wakefullness is outside the norm but its something to consider. Ditto, forceful letdown?

    Also what is the caregiver situation when you are at work? is baby being fed breastmilk or solids? How is he eating overall? Any chance they are being more adventurous with solid foods than you are willing to be yet? Is baby perhaps napping for long periods when you are at work? Some babies nurse lots more at night when mom works during the day because it is the time to recconnect, but also sometimes because they do not take the bottle well for the caregiver and are actually catching up on calories.

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