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Thread: The constant nurser - help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Red face The constant nurser - help

    My LO is 9 months old and was 10lbs 10oz at birth. She is super healthy ...we nurse on demand throughout the day and she has started solids and loves them. She is super happy...except when she is sleeping...or trying to sleep unlatched.

    I am not pro or con co-sleeping. I am happy to co-sleep if she would sleep next to me not attached to me all night long. Her crib is in our room and we put her down for naps in her crib (she sleeps anywhere from 5 mins - 1.5 hours per nap). At night she goes down in her crib (I nurse her to sleep because I won't do CIO) and wakes up between 2-10 times between 7pm and midnight. Half the time I nurse her back to sleep the other half her daddy rocks her to sleep. At night I alternate between co-sleeping and putting her in her crib, depending on; the night, how well I'm sleeping, how well she is sleeping, etc. When she is in bed with us she will nurse the WHOLE time. No unlatching and sleeping next to me. Sometimes I put her in her crib just so I can roll over. I've started timing her. She usually sleeps for about 45 mins in her crib, and about 1-2 hours with me. I'm so tired. I have a 2.5 year old and 9 months of 1 hour sleep cycles is making me feel bonkers and my back is stiff every morning. I would love to say this is a new thing, but this is how she has been since day 1. Her first nursing session on her birthday was 2 hours long! Help! Ideas? techniques? Tips? Prefer tips from peaceful parents. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: The constant nurser - help

    OH yes, and we use a pacifier when we can. I slip it in her mouth to unlatch her and lay her in her crib, she rejects it on occasion (more now as she gets older). Sometimes it falls out and she keeps sleeping, sometimes she wakes up. She never puts it back in on her own.

    Thanks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,175

    Default Re: The constant nurser - help

    Is she teething?

    And could you possibly move out to a different bed, maybe a futon on the floor? Sometimes when both adults are in bed with baby, it results in mom a) not having enough room to do things like roll over and b) mom being even more responsive to her baby's wake-ups than she ordinarily would be, in order to save her partner's sleep.
    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
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    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: The constant nurser - help

    I have a super frequent 11 month old night nurser, I'd say she easily averages 10 sessions overnight. (Actually, she is a super frequent all the time nurser!) Of course experiences are going to be different from family to family, but my baby truly does sleep "best" when we bedshare and she gets to nurse when she wants. If I were to try anything else, she wakes ALL the way up, and then sleep is for sure not happening for me. When I go with nursing when she wants, she doesn't even wake up, not really, anyway. Like you, I also am not willing to do CIO or any form of "cry" sleep training.

    So, what I have done to maximize my sleep opportunities:
    --Stop counting wakings. If I track it, I sleep worse, and also psychologically feel worse about the sleep I DID get, if I know for sure it was inadequate!
    --Eliminate clocks in my bedroom. If I know what time it is, I just lay awake thinking about how few hours of sleep I have left. When I don't know, I just feel better about the sleep I am getting.
    --I go to bed with the baby. Yes, that means I am in bed by 7:30 p.m. most nights. It's worth it! If I had an older child with a later bedtime, I would for sure ask my husband to take over that bedtime so I could continue to go to bed with baby.
    --I have kicked my husband out of the bedroom. He snores. ANYTHING that keeps me up that isn't the baby? Must go!
    --I use a white noise machine for myself! It relaxes me, drowns out outside sounds, and helps ME fall asleep.

    Now, I do bedshare as mentioned previously, and there are some nights she just wants to be latched all night long, usually when she's working on a new skill or teeth. It was hard to sleep through it at first, but I have gotten pretty good at it with practice! It also helps me to try to focus on the positive aspect of the situation--my baby is so snuggly, how nice it is that she is still so little and needing me, and man, I really do fall asleep easier when I have those thoughts as opposed to the stressful ones.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  5. #5
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: The constant nurser - help

    Thanks for this thoughtful reply. A bit more info:
    -I only recently started timing the sleep cycles because my husband didn't believe me that she was waking as much as I said (my excuse for being so tired), and so I could see if I was being a wimp or if she really was sleeping poorly (when you have a 2 year old and a baby the nights just blur into one another). And now I see how bad of a sleeper she really is.
    -My husband was sleeping in a different room until one night when she unlatched and crawled off the bed! It was horrible! So now he sleeps with us to act as a barrier on one side.
    -So again, I am not opposed to co-sleeping or going to bed early with her (sometimes - but how do you get anything done? How do I pay my bills, do the dishes, have sex, finish anything I start?), but how in the world do I get her to unlatch and sleep next to me rather than attached to me? I truly wake up with a sore back from holding the same position for her to be able to nurse on me, and sometimes I have raw nipples from all the pacifying she is doing over night. I do love sleeping with her, I love the idea of co-sleeping but if the reality of co-sleeping is nursing for 8-12 hours, I can't do it. I'm also not able to burn calories all night long...I can't eat as many calories as she is taking from me.
    Sorry, I sound like such a baby. I just put her down for a nap and she woke up before I finished reading your post and the post before you. I'm tired and I need to be a more present mother to my 2 year old.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The constant nurser - help

    You're not being a baby. The all-night-nursathons are tough!

    One way to get freedom from the baby is to lie down with her, get her settled, and then sneak away. That's why the futon on the floor often works. Baby's left in a nice, safe, warm place- she can't fall off a futon!
    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!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Montreal
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    Default Re: The constant nurser - help

    What happens if you unlatch her (once she has stopped actively sucking) and rub her back or sing, or do some non-nursing comforting things? What if you do that for, say, 10 minutes?

    I'm interested in your post because I have the same wish as you: that co-sleeping meant co-SLEEPING, not being awake half the night, in one position, without ever getting up to pee, god forbid I should move, so that everyone else in the house can sleep bettter! I've been thinking about how to implement the idea of another sleep surface for my own monkey while keeping her "with me" in bed. I think we would both sleep better.

    I get you about DH being a barrier! Mine too!

  8. #8
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: The constant nurser - help

    Thanks again. I replied to the first post from "mommal", but I don't see my reply. I had said, I thought she was teething early on, but she just got her bottom teeth about 2 weeks ago and her top are coming in now. Her sleep patterns have been this way since early on.

    I can try a pad on the floor but fear she will crawl away...I guess I can block her in with pillows or something. I'll give it a shot. Thanks.

    isabelofmtl, if I unlatch her she a) cries and (with eyes closed) looks for the nipple b) stays asleep while I put her in her crib (but that sometimes only lasts 5 mins...sometimes 1.5 hours) c) I pop a pacifier into her mouth and same as before, sometimes it lasts 5 mins, sometimes 1.5 hours. And, I hate that you are in the same situation, but I am getting a little relief knowing I'm not alone.

    Thanks. Any additional advice is very welcome.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: The constant nurser - help

    I have put my mattress on the floor, too, forgot to mention that! She still sleeps on me, though. I feel better though, if she were to crawl off, she doesn't have far to fall. Also, childproof the room in question! All that helps.

    Honestly, for my baby, nothing else other than what I am currently doing will work. But I don't think you're a baby for wanting to find a way to handle this--I live this right now, I KNOW it is hard! I can say that I have outsourced all other chores like laundry, cooking, etc. to my husband, and he does them all after we go to bed. I pay my bills online when baby naps on me. I am sure there are creative folks with sex solutions...but my husband and I both have zero drive right now, though, so I am no help there! In general though, I have found that almost all things I need to get done are easier to get done while baby is actually awake.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Default Re: The constant nurser - help

    When my twins were new- I loved co sleeping and cuddle nursing. We kept the bassinet in our room and one would be in the bassinet and one would be at the breast and we would probably switch it up every hour! But I loved it! Then they hit eight months- and having them always at the breast, not sleeping with out the breast, and having the constant sensation of someone at my breast was getting to be a bit much. So as much as I loved co sleeping and room sharing, I made the choice to move them into their nursery at night.

    It was a really hard decision for me. I had to really access what I though my needs were and what their needs were. My emotional self didn't want to separate from them, but my sleep deprived self did!

    So I set up a good monitor and put them in their nursery. What I found after we all adjusted was that they went to sleep better in their nursery then they were in our room. They were sleeping longer in between nursing sessions. That when they did wake up, I would go into the nursery and nurse them for ten minutes and put them down and they would go back to sleep easily. I slept better without a little person to worry about in the bed, my sleep was deeper and more relaxed. My husband slept better. And we had more fun because we didn't have to worry about noise/ logistics.

    It took some preparation before I was ready to make the transition. I enjoyed co sleeping and wanted to continue. Now that we stopped, however- I don't regret my decision at all!

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