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Thread: Waking 7 times/night for last 7 months (17 mo)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Waking 7 times/night for last 7 months (17 mo)

    Hi Ladies,

    I could use some advice about reducing my toddler's night-wakings. We co-sleep.

    Since she was about 6-10 mo the night wakings got more frequent, I felt that she was waking multiple times/night (definitely more than 5) but was not sure if I was just exaggerating it in my mind.

    I read Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution and did the part where you write down when she wakes, and that got me one night of terrible sleep (the worst since she was born), and confirmed she was waking even more than I thought she was.

    I tried to encourage an earlier bedtime and a bedtime routine as Pantley suggests. DD now goes to bed (usually) around 7:30 or 8 PM and sleeps until 7 or 7:30 AM. We have not really been able to establish a bedtime routine. Reading books to my daughter makes her screech with delight - it does not relax her, and singing didn't work either (she sings along and dances). If she was already tired, she did not want to do those things and just wanted to nurse. So our bedtime routine is go into bedroom with mummy, close door, lie down on bed, nurse to sleep in dark.

    The solution of not nursing to sleep (suggested by Pantley to reduce night nursings) seemed worse than the problem, and my husband was just absolutely not willing to take over bedtimes (also suggested by Pantley). Then we got into teething and I didn't want to reduce her night-nursing when she was in pain....then, I thought maybe it would go away on its own.....and well, here we are at 17 months and she is still waking many times a night and wanting to nurse back to sleep. She cries, shouts "milk", and/or signs "milk" until she gets it. Last night I counted properly and it was seven times.

    I do not feel "exhausted" or even overtired during the day, and I know that a lot of mum's do. I usually can go back to sleep very easily after these night nursings. But they do annoy me during the night, I am tired of the side-lying position and I really feel that seven times in a night is a lot of times for a kid to want to nurse. Or is it?

    When she was 1 yo we spent several months in a tent (and will do so again beginning this August), and that is a completely different experience, it is HORRIBLE to be woken to nurse in a tent, have to nurse side-lying on a hard surface, and then you can't get back to sleep again. It also sucks to have to spend 12 hours straight in a tent every night so that your boobs can be close to your sleeping child! I found that my work (and sanity) were really compromised by this last point.

    Sometimes she has trouble falling asleep again even after nursing (usually it's because I woke her a little more to pee in the potty - she pees 1 or 2 times during the night). Then I rub her back and she goes back to sleep properly. I like this better than nursing because I am then in the position that I can go back to sleep easily in, without my arm falling asleep.

    During the day for her naps my husband takes her for a walk in the stroller to get her to fall asleep.

    Have you had any experience reducing night wakings without giving up the nursing-to-sleep?

    What would happen if I just waited it out?

    I am happy to have her in my bed for as long as she wants, DH is also happy with the co-sleeping arrangement.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Waking 7 times/night for last 7 months (17 mo)

    Do you nurse her all the way to sleep, or just nurse her until she's drowsy and then transition to cuddling or a back-rub, or perhaps just sitting in the room with her, not on the same sleep surface, until she falls asleep?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Waking 7 times/night for last 7 months (17 mo)

    I don't co-sleep, but my guy has been up frequently since he was about 6 months as well. He slept great before that!! I have been trying the suggestions in Pantley's book too, and they helped for awhile, but then we started getting another tooth and / or a developmental leap, and I just don't have the energy to work that hard at it. I try to nurse to just drowsy, and use the gentle removal method but most of the time he gets mad and roots again until he is back on. I wait 10-30 seconds, try again, all that. I sometimes have luck doing this when I'm first putting him to bed at night, but when he wakes through the night I'm not as good about it, and then on towards morning I do just bring him to bed so I guess I do co-sleep for a few hours in the morning just so I can lay back down.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Waking 7 times/night for last 7 months (17 mo)

    I have tried to nurse just till drowsy when nursing to sleep, but it didn't work. I told her on these occasions we need to wait a few minutes for mummy to make more milk. She cries, then settles if I rub her back, but won't go to sleep. Wakes up and wants to talk, move etc, then asks to nurse again.

    Also she wakes during her nap and wants to be nursed at least once.

    If she falls asleep nursing at computer and I try to lay her on bed that also wakes her up, crying, and I have to nurse again unless I want her to wake right up.

    So I should clarify, it isn't that I'm so worried about her crying a little at this point, and it's also not that I love all that side-lying and comfort sucking, but I am concerned about her waking completely and then not going back to sleep and nursing is how I can get her to stay down....

  5. #5

    Default Re: Waking 7 times/night for last 7 months (17 mo)

    I have a bed-sharing 18-month-old and can relate to your problem. I really love this article: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html
    It involves requiring that baby fall asleep on their own at least once a night, which naturally brings some objection from baby. (Talking about something interesting to my son helped him quiet). I felt my son was ready for this, though, because he doesn't always nurse to sleep anymore. He'll nurse for a while, then roll away, kick around a bit, then fall asleep.
    The article talks about working toward a goal of 7 uninterrupted hours. Of course, you don't have to do that, but could use the technique to eliminate a few nursings, which is what we did. I'm finding that now that baby has been able to fall asleep on his own in those instances, he is often sleeping quite well. Some nights, I've been awake when he has woken, and I've watched him sit up, look around, then go back to sleep.
    Anyway, I found that article very helpful, and I like that the author is a supporter of bed-sharing.

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