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Thread: 2 years still waking alot

  1. #11
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    Default Re: 2 years still waking alot

    Quote Originally Posted by llowe
    ...basically my confusion is that the suggestions for all night nursers generally involve the "Pantley pull-off" to teach baby to fall back to sleep without being latched on. It seems to suggest that this will in time naturally lead to fewer wakings to nurse, but for us it has not. DS has unlatched on his own and THEN gone back to sleep for over a year but still wakes frequently and wants to nurse each time.
    My perception is that the "Pantley pull-off" is more a way to achieve sleep without constant nursing -- not so much the frequent wake-and-nurse pattern.

    Some children want to be latched on when they fall asleep, and wake if they are unlatched before they are deeply asleep (which may take 20 minutes). Gently unlatching when the baby stops active sucking, re-latching if he protests, and then unlatching again when the sucking stops again, repeated as necessary, should eventually result in baby giving up and drifting off into deep sleep without the nipple in his mouth. It worked for us -- the first few times, it took a dozen or so "pull-offs," but before long, DS was cooperating and just unlatching and going to sleep when he was done nursing.

    To encourage a child to go back to sleep without nursing at all, and ultimately to return to deep sleep without fully waking, I think different measures are required, and the Pantley book does have a lot of ideas for that. What worked most easily for us was to simply let Daddy deal with the nightwakings. We never formally nightweaned, but as our son learned to take comfort from Daddy, he soon stopped waking much at all.

    I know this isn't an option for all families; I was lucky to have a partner who was willing to do his share of the nighttime parenting when the time came.

    --Rebecca

  2. #12
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    Exclamation Re: 2 years still waking alot

    To LLLCarol,

    I was a bit shaken to read your reply. I thought LLL philosophy was more in line with... the child will outgrow the need, not I may have created a sleep association with nursing.

    Please clarify. It's challenging to always respond but I really cringe at having to read yet another expert's book telling me how to tweek the system. My dd has never fallen asleep without nursing (maybe 5 times in her life on rare occassion) so of course she has that association. Am I incorrect to believe she will outgrow the need naturally?

  3. #13
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    Default Re: 2 years still waking alot

    Hi Ruby,
    Elizabeth Pantley's book is on the list of LLL approved books for Group Libraries but it does come with a disclaimer from LLL. Italics are mine.

    Pantley, Elizabeth THE NO-CRY SLEEP SOLUTION McGraw-Hill, 2002
    "This book provides a gentle approach to sleep training for parents who believe it necessary to modify baby's sleep habits without resorting to the cry-it-out methods. It offers easy-to-use charts to see where you are in the beginning, what your plan for getting your baby to sleep will be, and measuring your progress. The ideas presented are common sense solutions to a problem that is seen as monumental for many new mothers. LLL does not agree with the cautions against letting baby fall asleep at the breast or holding a sleeping baby or child. (Featured in NEW BEGINNINGS, Jan-Feb 2003).

    You are right that there are many, many resources out there when it comes to the topic of nighttime parenting. Some will fit with your parenting style and some will not. But you are the "expert" on your baby.

    How do you feel about your nighttime routine? Are you looking for changes? Or are you looking more to connect with others who are share a similar approach to/experience of nighttime parenting?

    Mary

  4. #14
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    Default Re: 2 years still waking alot

    Quote Originally Posted by quakerm0mma
    To encourage a child to go back to sleep without nursing at all, and ultimately to return to deep sleep without fully waking, I think different measures are required, and the Pantley book does have a lot of ideas for that. What worked most easily for us was to simply let Daddy deal with the nightwakings. We never formally nightweaned, but as our son learned to take comfort from Daddy, he soon stopped waking much at all.
    How did your son handle comforting from Dad initially? I had wanted to try this, but DS seems to get really angry if DH (or anyone other than me) tries to even touch him during the night. Also, I'd like to night wean gradually since DS still gets a large chunk of calories during the night at this time. Will he be confused if I sometimes nurse him when he wakes but not others?

  5. #15
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    Default Re: 2 years still waking alot

    Well, the first couple nights we did this, I wasn't even at home -- I had to make two overnight trips (one business, one a family emergency) when my son was about 15 months old. I assumed DH would be up half the night walking the floor with an irate, terrified toddler, but according to DH, they did fine, with only a few tears the first time I was away.

    We had on a couple previous occasions tried having DH comfort DS, when I was exhausted and at the end of my rope. It was terrible listening to them a room away; I didn't handle it well at all. So I'm not about to tell you that it's easy to just "go off shift" and let your husband take over. I really had to learn to trust my husband, and to accept that his comforting was as good as mine, and that if DS chose to cry when he had DH's loving attention, that was okay and not neglectful or horrible. For us, this proved to be the best long-term solution. We combined it with very flexible sleeping arrangements for the 3 of us, and tried to go with the flow as the night unfolded.

    For a long while there, I nursed DS down to sleep at bedtime, on a mattress on the floor of his room, and then I moved to our bed for the night. DH either went to bed with DS, or DH would start the night in our bed and then go to DS's room when he woke. Eventually DS started coming to our room when he woke, and he would climb into bed and DH would keep him on his side of the bed, not near me and my breasts. Sometimes I caved in and nursed him if he wanted and if I felt okay about it, but usually I wanted to keep sleeping and just let DH hold him.

    We really played things by ear, without a lot of planning or rules, and the dynamics and patterns changed so often that I have a hard time remembering now just how things worked best or when I felt like we had made it through that stage successfully. My husband travels for work pretty frequently, for example -- summer trips of a month or two are common. I just had to go with the flow when things changed -- I was committed to child-led weaning, but I figured the only way we would succeed at that is if I got enough rest to be healthy and sane throughout our breastfeeding relationship. So please understand that I'm not talking absolutes or perfection.

    I'm sorry I'm going on so long, and probably not saying anything really coherent or useful. About gradual night-weaning ... perhaps you could choose a certain time span during the night when you will not nurse. If you can come up with some way to visually represent the no-breast time period -- perhaps a small nightlight on a timer, or find an analog clock and paint the zone between 10 p.m and 4 a.m. a different color -- then your son can learn that there is a time when he can nurse and a time when he cannot, and that it will be predictable each night.

    --Rebecca

  6. #16
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    Default Re: 2 years still waking alot

    I actually had some mom try to tell me that kids who wake at night after 1 year have a sleep disorder! Yeah, right!!

    The Pantley pull-off didn't work for us either. It just made the kid MAD and he would latch right back on and nurse for another long stretch.

    We ended up having Daddy take over more of the night-time parenting. I was getting very tired, I had just had a miscarriage, and when I turned up pregnant again right away, the constant night wakings on top of the emotional stress really got to me, turning me into a horrible mom during the day. I ended up moving to another bed for a while to break the cycle; I didn't want to, but it was that or lose my mind and I didn't like the way I was responding to the kid during the day. The first few nights were rough, but he very quickly stopped waking every hour. It was very hard for me to listen to it, but I kept telling myself that he was not crying by himself, he was being held by his daddy, who loves him very much, and to realize that daddy could comfort him just as well as I can, although in different ways.

    Good luck!
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  7. #17
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    Default Re: 2 years still waking alot

    I just started night weaning my 27 month old twins 3 weeks ago, and for the past 5 nights they have slept from bed time (10) til sun up (6) - this is a miracle since they used to wake up every hour and a half or so, which was okay when I was in bed since I could sleep while they nursed, but I felt like I had no down time in the evenings since i always had to be ready to run up and nurse them back to sleep.

    My husband started putting then down to sleep by himself, and the first week was hard as we were awake at 1, 3, 5, etc rocking and whispering stories, but now if my son wakes up he just wants to hold my hair for a minute, and my daughter wants to snuggle. My husband was in charge of bedtime for 17 days and when I started to put them down again 6 days ago they didn't ask for milkies at all, I nurse them with the lights on then I put on my night time bra (a non nursing bra), and we snuggle and tell stories til they fall asleep. They know they can nurse when the sun comes up so they say "milkies, sun's up" when they wake up (and during the rest of the day!) I still nurse them at nap time.

    I found an account of night weaning in "How Weaning Happens" to be very helpful and i followed that as my model.

    Good luck!

  8. #18
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    Default Re: 2 years still waking alot

    My 3 1/2 year old nurses 1-2 times during the nighttime usually, and more if he skipped dinner or is thirsty. My 15 month old nurses about the same. We co-sleep, with my DH in another room, as he is a light sleeper. He is not volunteering or interested in being my nighttime helper. We are in negotiations on this one, esp. as we talk about a third baby

    I am not currently interested in night weaning, but found Dr. Jay Gordon's suggestion intriguing for those interested in trying to gently wean from night nursing. I don't know how it compares to Pantley's. This may work for you; you are the expert on your family, so use this if it resonates with you. LLL concept # states: "Ideally the breastfeeding relationship will continue until the baby outgrows the need."

    Here's a little more info. on LLL's stance on child-led weaning:

    "Some people mistakenly think that baby-led weaning does not include substituting, limiting, or encouraging the weaning process in any way. Yet when we do things to encourage walking, or buy special panties for toilet learning, or become involved in leading the way for other stages of growth, we can see that we are doing the right thing as long as we keep in mind the capability of the child and always consider his feelings.

    Considering and validating children's feelings does not always mean that they should do everything their own way. This touches on the topic of loving guidance as well as baby-led weaning. Perhaps that's why both subjects are often misinterpreted.

    As a child grows from baby to toddler to child, we do limit many things, out of necessity, or convenience, or even personal convictions. We limit the amounts or kinds of sweets the child eats, how much television he watches and which shows he is allowed to see, how far from the yard he may go, with whom he can play, whether or not we nurse at grandma's or the shopping mall, etc. The child may be happy to go along with some of these restrictions and not happy about others. Sometimes we make exceptions, depending on the circumstances, and sometimes we stick to our limits. We keep the feelings of the child in mind, but we do not necessarily give in just because the child does not like our restrictions. Some may think that setting limits should not apply to nursing, just as we would not limit the number of kisses, or hugs, or "I love you's" we give to our children. But when a mother is feeling frustrated by nursing a three- or four-year-old, particularly if she is tandem nursing, there should be freedom to do some limiting without feeling guilty or feeling that this is somehow going against LLL philosophy. If your toddler wants to nurse all day long or every time the baby does, it may be up to you to change that pattern, for your benefit as well as the child's. We as mothers may be the ones who set up certain nursing patterns in our toddlers. Recognizing these and taking steps to change them does not mean mother-led weaning either. What it means is that we have recognized where changes can be made, substitutions can be offered, or attention can be given in ways besides nursing without denying the child's feelings. This is usually possible with children over the age of two or three who are able to understand and communicate more."

    For the full text: http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...rApr87p23.html

    Regards and happy nursing!

    Eve Erickson
    www.LLLSouthernNevada.com

  9. #19
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    Default Re: 2 years still waking alot

    Thanks for all the input. It's not a good night for me and most of the replies mention needing help from dad to get any relief. This isn't an option, which makes this night a total wash. My shoulders hurt from carrying my dd the last two hours. Looks like it's gonna be a repeat of the past 2 nights. I'm so sad right now.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: 2 years still waking alot

    Here's a big hug for you, Ruby!!!

    An excerpt from Dr. Jay Gordon is below. I couldn't fit the whole thing, as it is too long for this forum (won't allow more than 10,000 words)


    to read the full text, visit:
    http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp



    Changing The Sleep Pattern In The Family Bed

    By Dr Jay Gordon

    "I can only imagine a mom and dad who are as tired as anyone can be, eager to see this article on sleep, and finding that we had made it unavailable for a little while!

    We had to do that because I didn't write the article clearly enough and need to clarify some very important facts.

    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.

    Before I go any further, let me express my overriding concern. Babies do better when we answer all their questions as best we can and meet their needs as best we can.

    Most of the families I have taken care of in my pediatric practice sleep in a family bed.

    Their babies tend to breastfeed for more than one year and they don't sleep through the night any better than most of us would if we napped and cuddled within inches of the best restaurant in town and knew it was open 24 hours a day.

    This arrangement is not just adequate and tolerable, but actually feels easier to moms who can just roll over, nurse a while and fall back to sleep with their babies rather having to get out of bed to nurse or, alternatively, refuse to nurse and get their babies back to sleep some other way.

    Lots of parents continue this pattern through the first year and well into the second and beyond, but some get tired of it -- or just plain tired -- after a while and are looking for a way to change things. Saddest of all, some moms and dads think that total weaning from breastfeeding is the best way to get more sleep. They choose not to look into nighttime weaning as a good option instead.

    There are dozens of confusing books and magazine articles implying that there can be some quick and easy way to get your baby to sleep or to not nurse through the night. I have yet to read one which told parents the complete truth: It's not easy, it's rarely quick and it's usually a little loud and heartbreaking for a few nights . . . or more. I have seen too many families needing help and getting offered choices they didn't like at all.

    I have a better alternative to completely weaning or to letting the baby cry it out. Babies wake up for the optimal interaction with their moms, breastfeeding back to sleep. If we offer them a little less than that for a few nights and then a little less and still less in the ensuing nights, gentle behavior modification will lead them to realize that it might not be "worth it" to knock on the door of a closed restaurant, so to speak.

    I don't recommend any forced sleep changes during the first year of life. Probably the only exception to this would be an emergency involving a nursing mom's health. There are many suggestions in books and magazines for pushing "sleeping through the night" during a baby's early months or during the first year. I don't think this is the best thing to do and I am quite sure that the earlier a baby gets "non-response" from parents, the more likely he is to close down at least a little.

    Don't get me wrong. I love the family bed, child-led weaning and cuddling all through the first, second, third year or more if it's working well and if the family is doing well. Don't let anyone convince you that this is a harmful choice or that there will be "no way" to get him out of your bed if you don't do it now. Don't believe anyone who says that babies who cuddle and nurse all night long "never" learn to self soothe or become independent. This is simply not true but it sells books and the myths stay in our culture.

    Some moms just don't want to do this after some months or years and there should be a third choice to the dichotomy of crying it out or giving in to all-night nursing. Again, I support the family bed and frequent night nursing for a long time and even attempt to pull some parents along "just a little farther," but I often have to switch tacks and support and help families with difficult choices.

    Here's what I recommend for older babies:

    Choose the most valuable seven hours of sleep for yourselves. I personally prefer 11p.m. through 6 a.m. but you might have a slightly different idea.

    Change the rules during those hours and be comfortable that a "well-built" family bed baby's personality can withstand this rule changing and the mild inconsistency of getting everything he wants all the time . . .oops, almost all the time. That's the word we want to show this baby. The word "almost." If only we could explain to him that "tired moms and dads take their children to the park a little less and that children of well-rested parents get to go the zoo and for hikes a lot more than children of exhausted parents." If that explanation only made sense to kids somewhere before the third birthday (and it doesn't!) they would simply roll over, say, "See you in the morning," and let us get the sleep we want.

    I try to do this in three- and four-night intervals.

    I'm assuming that you have a wonderfully healthy 12-, 15-, 20- or 30-month old baby who still loves to wake up every 2 to 4 hours to cuddle, eat or . . . whatever. I'm assuming that you have thought this through, decided you want to make changes and alerted the neighbors that it might be a little noisy for a week or so.

    I'm assuming that both parents agree -- or almost agree -- that this is the best thing to do. And, most important assumption of all, you are willing to go "in a straight line" to the goal of seven straight hours of sleep.

    The reason for that last statement: If your baby learns that crying, squirming and fussing (euphemisms, let's just say "crying" . . . sorry) for an hour will get him fed you will set yourself back quite a bit. This is the best program I have seen but it's far from easy. And now, to say it again, I really like what you've been doing. Cuddling, nursing, hugging through the night. Don't change this with my program or any other if you're happy doing what you're doing. But . . .

    The First Three Nights

    At any time before 11 p.m. (including 10:58) nurse to sleep, cuddle and nurse when he wakes up and nurse him back to sleep, but stop offering nursing to sleep as the solution to waking after 11 p.m.. Instead…..

    When your baby awakens at midnight or any other time after 11 p.m., hug him, nurse him for a short time but make sure he does not fall asleep on the breast and put him down awake. Rub and pat and cuddle a little until he falls asleep but don't put him back on the breast (or give him a bottle if that's what you've been doing). He must fall asleep with your comfort beside him, but not having to nurse to feel comforted enough to drift off.

    Now, he will tell you that he is angry and intensely dislikes this new routine. I believe him. He will also try to tell you that he's scared. I believe he's angry, but a baby who's had hundreds of nights in a row of cuddling is not scared of falling asleep with your hand on his back and your voice in his ear. Angry, yes. Scared, no, not really.

    During these first three nights, repeat this pattern only after he has slept. He might sleep for fifteen minutes or he might sleep for four hours, but he has to go to sleep and reawaken to get cuddled and fed again.

    These will be hard nights.

    You may have decided you're really not ready to do this. That's OK. Stop and start over again in a few months if you like. Choosing the right time is crucial and many people choose a time suggested or pushed by friends, doctors or in-laws. This doesn't work as well.

    Is it better to do this in the family bed, a crib in the same room or using a crib in another room? I prefer to continue the family bed even though it might seem harder at first, but it has always seemed harder to me to be putting a baby in and out of a crib. However, a crib or toddler bed in your room may be what works best for you. Another option is to expand your bed's limits by placing another mattress against your mattress. A bit more space for each family member may help to solve some of the sleep issues. My least favorite choice is a crib or bed in a separate bedroom.

    Again, during these first three nights, between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., cuddle and feed short, put him down awake, rub, pat, talk until he falls asleep and repeat this cycle only after he's slept and reawakened. At 6:01 a.m., do whatever you have been doing as a morning routine ignoring the previous seven hours' patterns. Many babies will roll over, nurse and cuddle back to sleep and give you an extra hour or so. Some won't.

    For me, one of the most reassuring parts of this "sleep plan" is seeing that babies wake up fine, happy and grudge-free about the change in the rules. You'll see what I mean, even if the first few minutes of the morning are not exactly as they've always been."



    There's more to read. make sure you visit the above link!!

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