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Thread: Zombie mommy

  1. #1

    Default Zombie mommy

    My son is nearly 8 months old, and my dilemma is that he still wakes up every two hours during the night to eat. Feeding him is the only way to get him to fall back asleep. He has never one time slept through the night yet.. His pediatrician keeps telling me he should not be eating anything at night.. I have tried every single thing I know to do .. I've let him "cry it out ", but I gAve that up after a few days bc he LITERALLY screamed the entire night every night I did it. I've tried trying to rock him back to sleep and not let him eat, but the results are the same. He gets Solids during the day. He also weighs 19 pounds, so there is no nutritional need for him to be eating at night..

    Many other women I know have babies younger and older than him and ALL of them have been sleeping 10+ hours a night since the time they were no older than 6 weeks.. This is very discouraging, and frankly makes me regret ever breastfeeding in the first place.. I haven't slept in almost 8 months, I am literally a zombie. I feel dead. I've basically accepted my fate, but as a last resort I thought I would see what advice I could gather from here!

    Thanks for any input
    Sincerely,
    The Zombie Mom
    Last edited by @llli*chelsey0990; January 5th, 2014 at 09:58 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Zombie mommy

    ** by "eating" I mean nursing. He refuses a bottle( a whole other issue haha)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    1,949

    Default Re: Zombie mommy

    well, nursing might not be the issue. I couldn't nurse my oldest due to a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate, and he was and is the worst sleeper EVER!!! My DD who nursed till 4 is the best sleeper! I am currently nursing my almost 9 month old and he has recently taken to crying ever half hour at night...not to nurse, just cries in his sleep. Sometimes I WISH he would just nurse and go back to sleep!

    Is he your only? Do you stay home or work? If he is your only and you are home with him, can you nap when he naps during the day?

    good luck!

    Also, I wonder how much truth is in those who say their babies sleep 10+ hours straight since 6 weeks??? Also so you know, a statistic states that babies who wake often at night have less of a risk of dying of SIDS. And those who sleep heavily are at a greater risk. That is one statistic I think of as my baby wakes me at night.
    Mommy of 4,
    3 who I watch over, 1 who watches over all of us

    J- 8/20/05 pumped breastmilk for 11 months due to his cleft lip and palate!

    M- 10/17/07 my precious baby lives forever in her mommys heart

    M- 3/31/09 my special gift, she helps heal her mommy and daddys heart. Nursed for 4 years and 10 days, self weaned the day her baby brother was born!

    E-, new little miracle born 4/11/13, my BIG baby! Born 8.6 at 38 weeks. At 9 weeks nearly 17lbs, at 12 weeks nearly 20lbs, at 6 months nearly 23lbs, at 8 months nearly 25lbs and all from BREASTMILK


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,266

    Default Re: Zombie mommy

    Would it help if someone said that what you're experiencing is normal? That it's 100% normal for breastfed babies to wake to eat during the night for the first year and into the second? That you can't tell by simply looking at a baby whether or not it "should" be eating at night, or whether or not it has a nutritional need to eat at night, even if you're a pediatrician? That babies sleeping 10+ hours at night from 6 weeks on is rare, for both breastfed and formula-fed babies?

    I mean, I hope that all that would help, because it's all true. I know it's intensely frustrating and you are exhausted- believe me, I know, because my first kid was up 5-8 times a night until 10.5 months of age, and I was a zombie, too. There were times when I worried I was going to nod off at traffic lights, times when my husband and I were so tired that we were fighting, and I was really not functioning well at all.

    When you have a baby who wakes frequently to nurse at >6 months, here's what I think you should do:
    1. Eliminate possible physical causes for night-waking, like ear infections and teething.
    2. Co-sleep, if you're not already. Hopefully that will allow you to latch the baby on and drift off to sleep ASAP. If you need safe co-sleeping tips, or tips on negotiating a different sleep arrangement with your partner, we're happy to provide them.
    3. Turn your clock to the wall. I swear that this helps. When you know just how many times you've been up and how short your sleep intervals are, night-waking becomes vastly more upsetting.
    4. Nap when the baby naps.
    5. Read Elizabeth Pantley's book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" for a realistic look at infant sleep and for gentle, breastfeeding-friendly ways to get your baby to sleep longer and more independently. Even if nothing in the book works, it will at least give you some avenues to explore and you'll feel better because you're doing something. I know I did!
    6. Evaluate your baby's daytime nursing. Some busy, distracted babies nurse more at night because they are forgetting to feed during the day. If distractibility is a problem for you, let us know.
    7. Take a look at your baby- is your baby a mellow little person, content to play by himself for long stretches, rarely crying even when wet or otherwise uncomfortable? Or is he more of a "don't put me down, don't leave me alone, don't ever stop interacting with me" kind of guy? If your baby is more on the high-needs end of the spectrum, this could explain the night-waking.

    Finally, I think it helps to focus on your own personal triumph: you have nursed a baby to 8 months of age. There aren't that many western women who manage that particular feat. And when someone says something like "You're so lucky to be able to nurse your baby!" you can look back and say "Luck has absolutely nothing to do with it. Hard work- my hard work- that's what made it possible."
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    NY
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    Default Re: Zombie mommy



    This is my baby, for what it is worth! Well, she probably nurses more frequently than every two hours at night, actually. But I really do function extremely well these days on the whole, and get plenty of sleep--cosleeping, getting rid of the clocks, channeling my emotional feelings about night nursings to positive ones, and accepting that this is normal and okay were key for me.

    And truly, some kids are just wired for this. It doesn't have to be the breastfeeding. My nephew is the most difficult sleeper I have ever encountered, and he was not breastfed. You didn't do this, I promise you. Some babies are just very high needs at night. You are doing a great job!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    VA
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    Default Re: Zombie mommy

    Hi zombie mama, I'm right there with you. My son is now a year old and has slept through the night about four times in his life. The first month after he was born was the worst because I was convinced that bed sharing aka co sleeping was dangerous, wrong, et c. We became a co sleeping family accidentally, and I began to search these forums looking for information that would free me from the guilt I felt over it. The only regret I have is that I didn't start that sleeping arrangement the night that he was born.
    Now, we start our bedtime routine with a story, then I nurse him and rock him and put him in his crib. He sleeps there for a few hours... Sometimes two, sometimes four or five. When he wakes up, I bring him to bed and he nurses on and off for the rest of the night.
    I also really like the book the pp recommended, The no cry sleep solution. I found it at the public library.
    Hang in there, and know that there are a lot of other mamas awake with you!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    313

    Default Re: Zombie mommy

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*chelsey0990 View Post
    My son is nearly 8 months old, and my dilemma is that he still wakes up every two hours during the night to eat. Feeding him is the only way to get him to fall back asleep. He has never one time slept through the night yet.. His pediatrician keeps telling me he should not be eating anything at night.. I have tried every single thing I know to do .. I've let him "cry it out ", but I gAve that up after a few days bc he LITERALLY screamed the entire night every night I did it. I've tried trying to rock him back to sleep and not let him eat, but the results are the same. He gets Solids during the day. He also weighs 19 pounds, so there is no nutritional need for him to be eating at night..

    Many other women I know have babies younger and older than him and ALL of them have been sleeping 10+ hours a night since the time they were no older than 6 weeks.. This is very discouraging, and frankly makes me regret ever breastfeeding in the first place.. I haven't slept in almost 8 months, I am literally a zombie. I feel dead. I've basically accepted my fate, but as a last resort I thought I would see what advice I could gather from here!

    Thanks for any input
    Sincerely,
    The Zombie Mom
    Right there with you. My baby was/is the exact same way. And it is normal for a breastfed baby to act that way. Biologically normal. I know how it feels to see others with babies who sleep more, but to be honest I know moms who feed 100% formula and have awful sleepers. I think it depends on the baby. I did formula with my first and she was a great sleeper, BUT after having nursed a baby, I wouldn't go back to doing it any other way. But that's just me.

    To give you some hope, I did nothing to change my baby's habits of waking/eating all night. She is almost 13 months old, and now she is sleeping!!! My baby woke up just as often as yours, and we cosleep so it wasn't too awful but it was still pretty exhausting at times. She still has her bad nights waking up like 10 times and nursing, but then half the week she sleeps almost the entire night without stirring. AND now my husband can put her back to sleep if she wakes by just laying next to her. She has also learned how to fall asleep on her own by talking to herself, which I always thought would be impossible if I continued nursing her to sleep and sharing a bed. Again, I did nothing to facilitate that, she did it herself. She never falls asleep nursing at bed time any more, it's always talking to herself.

    So...as your baby gets older, you might see a similar change. If not and you feel desperate, maybe have your partner help with bed time? My daughter knows that Dad doesn't have boobs so she goes back to sleep in like 5 min for him! Maybe let your partner try for a while and then you could always go back in and help?
    Last edited by @llli*karrieperry; January 6th, 2014 at 07:31 AM.
    and Mama to two little girls

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Zombie mommy

    Oh, and as far as your pediatrician...that is a bogus statement!!! Seriously. My baby gained EXACTLY an average amount of weight from 6-12 months. Anything less she would have been below what she really needed. And I fed her EVERY night sometimes like 5 times! Babies know what they need, especially BF babies. So if I had refused to feed her she would not have gained enough.
    and Mama to two little girls

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Zombie mommy

    http://evolutionaryparenting.com/gen...eep-resources/
    Ok the link won't paste at the bottom of my response bc of a goofy phone.

    The pp's all had great suggestions. And I was right there with you at that age. My son also naturally started sleeping longer stretches after a year expect for times of teething and a few weeks before the big verbal milestones. I agree that clock watching makes everything so much worse.
    Your ped is wrong! Personally I'd find another or just refuse to talk about the subject. My husband and i wake up for a drink and small snack nearly every night. I would never expect/force a baby/toddler to sleep 10-12 hours without eating. And small frequent meals are normal for them. I know that my son wakes to nurse for more than comfort. When my supply disappeared due to pregnancy, ds was waking and demanding a glass of cow's milk 2-3 times a night, sometimes also wanting a snack of cheese and crackers. My colostrum came in a few weeks later and he's returned to nursing instead.
    If you have a local LLL group, can you make it to one of the meetings? It really helps to have a supportive group going through similar situations. You can vent then without made to feel awful about something out of your control. Mine also has a great library resource that has the book mentioned above plus many other gentle parenting books. Here's a link to some great sleep resources and scientific explanations for why your baby is totally normal. It's society that has everything backwards.
    Last edited by @llli*zaynethepain; January 6th, 2014 at 10:23 AM. Reason: bad grammar/auto correct fails

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Cleveland, OH
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    Default Re: Zombie mommy

    First of all, the women to claim there babies have slept 10+ hours every night since 6 weeks are lying to you, or exaggerating, or have selective memory, or MAYBE they are a statistical anomaly. Seriously, forget that idea because it is a load of BS.

    Let's think for a minute about your doctor's claim that 8 month old babies don't need to eat at night. He is making a generalization about baby behavior that has a huge range of normal. Forget about that "advice", too. Your baby is an individual and within the normal range of night waking. Your son is still waking up 3-4 times at night to nurse, and that is a lot of calories he is taking in at night, so yes he does need to eat at night. By attempting to night-wean cold turkey, you were asking him to shift those nighttime calories to daytime calories in one day. That is a big request for such a little guy.

    You say you feel like a zombie, so maybe it is time to attempt to wean ONE of the nighttime nursing sessions. Do it slowly so he has a chance to shift his calorie intake to daytime eating and (fingers crossed) he will eventually sleep right through it. Getting one 4 hour stretch each night is going to make you feel like a new person. Good Luck!
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

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