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Thread: Also need sleep! Waking to eat or fuss?

  1. #1
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    Default Also need sleep! Waking to eat or fuss?

    I noticed that there have been several posts from moms desperate for sleep. That's me, too!

    My 3 month old had been going down around 10:30, waking aroun 2 (then back to bed by 3:30), waking between 6-7 (asleep about an hour later), then waking around 9-10 to be "up" for the day, aside from napping in the afternoon. He was sleeping in a "Woombie," a zipper sleep sack that kinda looks like a straight-jacket that keeps his arms and legs tightly wrapped. This helped him because he has a terrible startle reflex.

    A few days ago we decided to discontinue the Woombie because he is starting to roll over. The first night we put him in a footed sleeper and he woke every 1-2 hours. I can't imagine that he needed to eat all of those times. The last 2 nights I've put him in a Halo sleep sack, wrapping the swaddle tight enough to keep his arms down while he's sleeping but loose enough so that he can get them out if he wakes up and wants to move around. Still, he wakes more frequently than before. Last night he did sleep from 10:30 to 3, but after that good stretch he woke up after maybe 2 hrs, then 45 minutes. This morning I tried comforting, rocking back to sleep, but he wakes as soon as he hits the crib. Letting him "cry it out" also did not work. I was going to feed him, but while I was getting my MBF pillow on, he just wanted to coo and play, so I know he wasn't hungry. This change seems to be directly related to the fact that we have stopped using the Woombie.

    This is not good because it translated into only 5 hours of sleep for me and I had a breakdown this morning. I'm ok with getting up once, or even twice, during the night if it means that I can accumulate 7 hours of sleep, but he wakes so frequently that it does not give me time to fall asleep. I feel like a zombie today.

    Several questions: How often should a 3 month old wake to breastfeed? How do I know if he's waking because he's hungry (which he's done in the past) or just upset over his new sleeping clothes or having his arms out (which I think he's doing now sometimes)? How do I wean him off the swaddle? I have some sleep sacks that have sleeves or are armless, but he doesn't seem to like to sleep with his arms out. I'm afraid to continue swaddling his arms because I don't want him to roll over like this. When do babies outgrow the Moro/startle reflex?

    Any advice will be helpful. So far, friends and family have said "I don't know," or "hang in there, it will get better," neither of which are helpful or comforting to someone who is sleep deprived.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Also need sleep! Waking to eat or fuss?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*andie613 View Post
    This is not good because it translated into only 5 hours of sleep for me and I had a breakdown this morning. I'm ok with getting up once, or even twice, during the night if it means that I can accumulate 7 hours of sleep, but he wakes so frequently that it does not give me time to fall asleep. I feel like a zombie today.
    5 hours is defined as "sleeping through the night" for an infant. The problem is not babies but our expectations of them and their sleep. We expect them to sleep like adults and that's totally unrealistic.

    My daughter was my first baby and a terrible sleeper. Seriously that kid ROCKED.MY.WORLD!! I had all these plans and expectations and then she arrived and was having none of it. So for what it's worth here are some suggestions based on my own experience.

    - Realize you can't (really) change your baby, you're better to change your own expectations. Once I just gave in and realized this was my reality (in terms of my daughter's poor sleep) I found I was better able to cope. It's the stress of trying to change it and figure out what's wrong that gets to you.

    - You can't "make" a baby a bad sleeper. It's how they are wired. It won't always be that way, they will eventually sleep through the night so instead of worrying about creating bad habits do what works and what gets everyone in the family the most sleep

    - Stop looking at the clock and counting how many times your baby is waking. It won't change anything and just gets you more angry and frustrated

    - Co-sleep and learn to nurse lying down. I would not have survived had I not embraced these two things. Seriously they saved my sanity

    - Don't let your child CIO. All it will serve to do is make bedtime more sleep more stressful for everyone. Besides, until you're child is "trained" you'll likely get less sleep than if you just nurse him when he wakes

    Hope some of that helps, I can appreciate what you are going through.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Also need sleep! Waking to eat or fuss?

    PP is 100% on.

    Have you tried side-laying nursing? Maybe if you didn't have to strap that pillow on and nurse sitting up, you would get some more rest. 3 months is prime time for a growth spurt. How do you know when a 3 month old NEEDS to nurse at night? Every time they ask to.

    My 20 month old daughter slept from 8 pm to 1:15 am last night. I went and laid down with her in her bed, nursed her back to sleep and I think she woke up around 4 am. Then she woke for the day at 6 am. Believe it or not - that was a GREAT night for us. I got to sleep 4 hours in a row - which doesn't happen too often for me.

    I hear what you're saying about needing that 7 hours of broken sleep, not just 5. If you had gone to bed at 10:30 you would have had 5 hours of solid sleep right there. Also, if you weren't spending 1.5 hours awake nursing or whatever, I think that would really help you. Even if you don't want to cosleep, you could nurse her laying down on the floor or something. That must be better than sitting up.

    Good luck mama.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Also need sleep! Waking to eat or fuss?

    Thanks for the suggestions. A few answers to your questions: I do go to bed immediately after I lay him down to bed, but I have to go to the bathroom, brush teeth, turn off lights, etc, then I lay in bed trying to go to sleep. So when he goes to bed, I get about 30 min to an hour less than him. Also, the 5 hours stretch of sleep from the other night was a fluke; he usually sleeps for about 3 hrs the first time, then 2-3 the second, then 1-2 the third. I can't co-sleep--our queen bed is way too soft and my husband tosses and turns (we fought for space when I was pregnant). I've tried nursing laying down, but he doesn't latch as good and he doesn't eat for as long, so I'm pretty sure he gets less milk that way. He could be going through a growth spurt, but that would not explain why his poor sleep suddenly started when I stopped swaddling him.

    I think our sleeping problem has to do with not using the woombie anymore. Any advice on how to wean off the swaddle?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Also need sleep! Waking to eat or fuss?

    Have you ever tried laying him down on his stomach to counter the startle reflex?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Also need sleep! Waking to eat or fuss?

    Can you use a larger receiving blanket to swaddle? That's what I did with my son. He was well over a year old by the time I stopped swaddling him. Heck, he's almost 4 now and I wish I could still get away with it. Granted, he's got other issues that prevent him sleeping well. But I swaddled my daughter until she was about 9 mos old and she started turning over very early.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Also need sleep! Waking to eat or fuss?

    Good idea still.here! I used to use two swaddling blankets - we would swaddle Lilah in one direction, and then put a piece of duct tape on the end of the blanket to hold it. Then we would swaddle her with a second blanket the other direction. She was a stiff as a board.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Also need sleep! Waking to eat or fuss?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*andie613 View Post
    Any advice on how to wean off the swaddle?
    If this is working for you and your LO and you feel it's getting both of you more sleep why stop? He's still very young at 3 months and you have lots of time to worry about him learning to sleep un-swaddled. If it were me I'd keep using it until it stopped working and then look at finding other solutions.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Also need sleep! Waking to eat or fuss?

    My mom suggested tummy sleeping--that's what was Dr recommended 30 years ago when I was a baby (according to my baby book, I slept through the night by 3.5 months! Why isn't this genetic?). Everyone says "don't put baby to bed on his tummy" because of the risk of SIDS.

    I could try to swaddle with a blanket. I stopped and switched to the sleep sack because he's really good at kicking off the blankets. I think a double swaddle with tape will defeat the purpose of having his arms out in case he rolls over.

    Can you swaddle a baby who rolls over? If so, how do you prevent him from rolling over and smothering?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Also need sleep! Waking to eat or fuss?

    You have to do what you feel comfortable with as far as your baby and your situation. I swaddled both of mine after they started rolling over. Usually the blanket would come loose when they rolled. But I also put both of mine down to sleep on their tummies. And by 3 months with both of them they were sleeping most of the night in bed with me so it was only the first part of the night I had to worry about it.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

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