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Thread: Help can't sleep!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Help can't sleep!

    My almost 14 month old breast feeds all night. He sleeps in the same bed as me. So last night I tried to stop that. He woke up at 12 am wanting milk and cried for 1 or 2 hours. I tried to give him a bottle of water. He almost choked, threw up, and tried to hurt himself banging into the sides of the bed. He went to sleep finally and woke up several time in the night crying but only for 15 minutes. At 6am I gave him so breastmilk. After that I was too tired to get up and give him breakfast. So he breastfed almost all the time until 10am. It seems like he breastfeeds while he is sleeping. What can I do?

    I've put up with the breastfeeding all night long because my husband is physically, mentally and emotionally abusive. My son has seen him very angry and hurting me. So I've moved around a lot. Between visiting my parents a couple times a year and from different nanny jobs, he's had a lot of instability. But now I'm starting a new nanny job that would be wonderful for my son. I want to keep it so I'm considering weaning and stopping him eating at night. I can barely function during the day because he breast feeds all night long. I need to keep this job so I won't be out on the streets and have to go back to my husband. When I'm a little more financially stable I'm going to divorce him. I'm only 21 years old, and people don't understand my situation. Why I want to be a live in nanny when I'm married. But I wouldn't get a job if people knew my situation. My husband isn't crazy. He isn't going to follow me. He wants me to leave. But people assume that abusive people stalk and follow their wives around thus endangering their children. I can't divorce him until I can provide for myself financially.

    Now my son is too old and it is hard to break his bad habits. I need to sleep at night. I'm starting to give him soy milk during the day sometimes. He doesn't eat very much solid foods. I've tried everything. He's only in the 3rd percentile of weight. He would prefer to just drink milk. I have a week until I start my new job. I need him to sleep through the night by then.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Help can't sleep!

    I remember your previous posts. You are in such a hard situation.
    I have no advice in weaning, my son is only 4 months old. I know you need rest, but your son needs you. With all he`s been through, he probably only feels secure and happy close to you. If it`s been hard for you, just think how much harder it must have been for him. If you quick try to make him sleep through the night, you might actually end up sleeping less and him crying more. You mentioned that you co-sleep. We are all different, I know, but sometimes I don`t even fully wake up when my son nurses at night.
    Sorry, hopefully someone with experience will chime in soon. I`m praying for you.

    Mommy to a busy toddler

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in order to gain that which he cannot lose."
    Jim Elliot

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Help can't sleep!

    Ah, the puking!!! I remember those nights... Where I'm thinking this is rediculous this child needs to be nightweaned! And she would cry until throwing up.... well just about every time it ended up being an ear infection. Ear infections make crying babies throw up because the balance is off. It could be a mild one that needs no medical attention, but I'll bet it's something like that, making your baby uncomfortable. Give it a couple weeks and then try saying no again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Help can't sleep!

    I am assuming that your son will be going with you to the 'live in' nanny job and your husband will not? Maybe sleeping with your child and letting him feed through the night might mean you get some sleep and can function better in your job. Like 'foreverhomeless' I know that the only way I could get any sleep and for my child to remain settled during the night was to sleep with him. I barely woke when he fed. Perhaps cutting one feed at a time might work although I don't know if this would happen in one week.
    I am sorry if I have misunderstood your situation but good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Help can't sleep!

    Hi dominicanlover,
    This is a really stressful time for you. You've got a lot on your plate. You are worried about starting this new job, getting your son to sleep through the night and becoming financially independant as soon as possible. You feel that in order to do these things you need to at least night-wean and maybe wean your ds altogether.
    It can be quite normal for 14-month-olds to nurse frequently at night regardless of their situations. It is not necessarily a "bad habit" (as you call it) that's been created. And even after night-weaning, it is very common for little ones to wake at night, i.e. night-weaning doesn't always equal no-waking. Given the stress you have both experienced, the closeness and reassurance of night-nursing and co-sleeping has likely been very important for both of you. LLL recommends gradual weaning for the health and well-being of both mother and child. Abrupt changes can lead to plugged ducts and mastitis as well as being more difficult emotionally for the child.
    Do you think there might be any gradual changes or compromises you could make instead? Are there times when he would accept a substitute for nursing? A snack or cuddle or cup of milk? If it is really important for you to start nursing less often, then those could be the times to let go first.
    If you really have the goal of night-weaning and would like some suggestions, another option is this approach from Dr. Jay Gordon. This is not an LLL-site.
    Changing The Sleep Pattern In The Family Bed
    Here is what Dr. Gordon says about this approach, "It would be hard to find as strong a proponent of the family bed as I am. Yet, I have received email commenting that there were sections of this "plan" which were easy to misinterpret as being just another angle on "sleep training" for young babies. It is not meant to be that. Not even close to an endorsement of the benefits of getting your baby to "soothe herself to sleep" during the first year.
    Here's what I really want to do: I want to offer an alternative to Ferber and Weisbluth and the Whisperer. I never want to see my ideas applied to a four month old or even a seven month old baby. As a matter of fact, I am not too excited about pushing any baby around at night but I know that sometimes it will be done and I'd like to offer a gentle, supported plan for after the first year.
    Keep in mind that his approach moves right along and it still takes 10 days at the quickest. Night-weaning and having your son sleep through the night in one week might be a tall order, given what you've already gone through and a move to a new house as you start your new job.
    I hope you are able to find a way to balance all of your goals. As an LLL Leader I can only really address your concerns about breastfeeding and weaning. For other help it would be important for you to contact a professional counselor.
    Please keep us posted as to how it goes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Help can't sleep!

    Hugs to you!

    I night weaned my DS at 13 months, and it has not stopped him from night waking completely. He DOES sleep better, but there are still nights that he's up for a couple of hours crying. And, now that I'm not nursing at all, I've lost that magic touch of being able to nurse him to sleep. I'm not saying that you shouldn't night wean, but just be prepared that it may not solve all your issues.

    I didn't cosleep with any of our kids. I'm not against it, but I can't speak from that perspective. Here is how we night weaned.... I chose a night to start, and weaned him from the first feeding first. I didn't go cold turkey for the whole night. Then, after he got the hang of that one, I dropped the other one. It took us a couple of weeks. There was a lot of crying, and I didn't not offer a substitute of water, juice, milk, whatever. I did, however, cuddle (if he'd let me...most of the time he was MAD), sing, offer a lovey, whatever.

    I hope you find some solution. Good luck to you.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Help can't sleep!

    I can second the "night weaning doesn't equal no waking." My 2.5 year old was nightweaned at almost exactly 2 and started sleeping 7-8 hours a night for two weeks. Then it was back to the same pattern but without nursing. Now she wakes about every 3 hours. It was difficult to nightwean - lots of crying and I DID get my dh's help. But it only took a couple nights. I didn't hold her though because it was like teasing her to go to her and not nurse her. I warned her ahead of time and spoke to her and we even practiced/role played during the day so she knew what was going on. It took one night for her to see that I meant it and another night of... it was more like mourning... then she was fine. It has been much more difficult to wean her from ME. Now that she's out of our bed, I sleep in my bed half the night and her bed half the night. She begs me for snuggles when she can't nurse. If there are nights when I'm just exhausted, I bring her to my bed for my own sake. She rarely asks to sleep in our bed anymore... she always asks me to lie down with her though. I'm the SAHM, so I am the usual night time parent. But I tell ya, I do sleep best when the we are all in my bed. No one else does, so its not the usual routine.

    You COULD deal with the breastfeeding while sleeping issue by pulling him off over and over again. He will seem really irritated but will eventually give up. After a few nights of this he will be easy to pop off when he is half asleep and will not feel as strong a need to sleep attached to your breast (a PREFERENCE, perhaps, but he'll be fine without it).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Help can't sleep!

    My 16 month DD sleeps with me and still nurses at night, but when it starts to disturb my sleep, I gently unlatch her (she is generally sleep suckling) and roll over, if she wakes, I gently tell her to lay down, and rub her back for a sec, then go back to sleep myself. I hope you find a solution and GL on your new job.
    Amanda Mom to James (2/25/04) and nursling Alice (8/24/05)

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