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Thread: help!4 mo old constantly latched on to sleep

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default help!4 mo old constantly latched on to sleep

    ladies pls help.
    i sit here with terribly sore nipples. my little girl won't sleep unless she's latched on. she was a good co-sleeper until recently. i don't know what has happened. she's always taken long to nurse down and "pop"off ....now it's taking two hrs for bed and she's asleep for 5-10 minutes before she is searching for my nipple again. i am officially a human pacifier and it's getting worse every day. i can't sleep when she's constantly searching for my breast. If i don't sooth her with my breast-she cries. she was at least last week nursing and then sleeping 3 hrs before needing me again. in desperation i've tried a pacifier-no luck.

    we think she might have a mild case of reflux and is terribly gassy (despite my diet being void of any gas producing foods (no chocolate or cows milk either) she's tooting and waking with gas pains often (i can feel the rumbles and gas popping on the side of her belly) I can only think that the constant sucking helps the gas pressure but I'm tired-way over tired and all sucked out!
    any thoughts?????????

    sleepless and all nursed out in Maine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Where the Wind Comes Sweepin' Down the Plain

    Default Re: help!4 mo old constantly latched on to sleep

    Oh, momma! I know you're having such a hard time so first off s to you!!!

    I have to give a shout out from the WWWAAAYYYY northeast corner of Maine!

    Okay, we have a couple of issues. First, if your nipples are sore, check your latch to make sure that her lips are turned way out and that she's properly positioned. Are they cracked, bleeding, or blistered at all? Are they hurting for the whole nursing session, round the clock, or only in certain nursing postions ie. lying down? (Some people find that they get sore with this. Make sure baby's nice and close to you, belly to belly.)

    Second, I see from this post and your other one that you have become a human pacifier. My son was JUST like your daughter from the sounds of things. I can totally relate. So you're wanting to get dd to sleep without your breast in her mouth the whole time? This may be better addressed in the 'Sleep' forum. Is she showing any signs that she is capable of self-soothing at all? If she's sleeping in three-hour spurts, that's good. That means that she's establishing good sleep rhythms. What kind of wake-sleep patterns do you see throughout her day?
    **Margaret**(the artist formerly known as mommamags) Mom to red- and curly-headed, blue-eyed, chunky-thighed Michael Thomas, 24 May 2007, 9 lb/22 in. As an infant, he was my little suckling pig. Now he's a total ham!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: help!4 mo old constantly latched on to sleep

    Have you tried a different kind of pacifier? My son has never liked the more traditionally shaped ones. He loves the more "naturally" shaped nipples of Avent soothers, though.
    ~~~~ ~~~~
    Iryssa(24), DH(27)

    DS born Sept. 21 '07, 8.5lbs
    Nursed for the last time Oct. 20 '08

    DD born Jan. 20, '09, 8lbs 14oz


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: help!4 mo old constantly latched on to sleep

    My daughter is 4 months old too. Are you familiar with the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child? It's v. informative about babies' sleep cycles. One thing it talks about is that sleep begets sleep so night sleep may be interrupted if your child is not getting enough day sleep - is your girl napping ok? Also, the bok talks about how there is a regression of sleep habits at 4 months old. So if she used to be a good sleeper - regressing at 4 months may not be so abnormal. She may have "outgrown" the "fourth trimester" phase of sleeping and now is trying to organize her sleep. Most babies become better sleepers again at 5 months old. Another helpful book is the Baby Whisperer for me. She talks about the "Pantley Method" - basically, don't let your baby fall asleep while nursing. You can nurse her to get her really sleepy but when she stops sucking actively and is almost drifting off to sleep, unlatch her and put her down to sleep. If she fights it, rock her to sleep or do something else but don't stay latched. I started doing this when my lil girl was 2 months old and it was a lifesaver. Before that, we were going thru the same thing that you're going thru - I was a human pacifier and couldn't do anything during the day or night b/c my lil girl needed to be latched on for naps and night sleep. What I do now is for naps, I nurse her to the point where she is really sleep and then I put her in her swing. It's not ideal - I'd rather she sleep in her crib but she gets too hysterical in there. Sometimes when I put her in her swing, she fusses a little but not more than a couple of minutes and then she's asleep. I do the same for night time but when she wakes up the first time (usually within 2 hours), I bring her into bed with me and she nurses probably 2-4 times throughout the night but it doesn't last for more than 20 mins and she's basically asleep during that time and I nurse her lying down so I'm half sleeping too. It's not perfect, but it allows us all to get much needed sleep. Anyways, I hope some of this is helpful for you. Go to the message boards at www.babywhisperer.com for more sleep advice - they are a Godsend to me. You can email me too if you like. Hang in there! It is rough, I've had many nights where my daughter is up every 2 hours to nurse but thankfully, we cosleep and I can basically "sleep thru" during all these wakings.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Pullman, WA

    Default Re: help!4 mo old constantly latched on to sleep

    My son started doing that at 4 months, too. I panicked and thought my sleep was over. But I also decided to ride it out. I didn't have sore nipples--that is another subject, and I agree with PP that you should figure out the cause and fix it.

    So, I let him nurse all night long. Ugh. It lasted a few days where I don't think I slept much. Then, he started stretching sleep out again. Then he was back to nursing all night. After about a week, maybe a few days more, he was over it and back to sleeping nice long stretches.

    You can try some of the sleep methods in the PP, or you can try letting your baby lead. I think mine was a big ol' growth spurt combined with some changes in our house.

    Hope that helps you feel less like you're in this alone. Trust your instincts and your baby.
    Stephanie, mom to Jaime Hoban 11/04/07 and Annika Jayne 12/21/09

    We . . . no room in the bed for more!

    We love our cloth diapers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: help!4 mo old constantly latched on to sleep

    I too would try a different style paci Hunter will only take the ones that have a brown natural shaped nipple, I think gerber makes them. I will nurse him until I sure he is a sleep and will quickly switch the paci into his mouth and it works most of the time.

    Formerly known as Huntersmomma
    Momma to 3 yr old Hunter proudly breast fed until 2 & 1/2
    Expecting baby #2, Due in Jan 2011

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: help!4 mo old constantly latched on to sleep

    My baby started occasionally doing the same thing this month. I agree, my nipples do get sore when she gets going on these marathon sucking sessions. It seems to mostly happen for us when we're laying down nursing (but not all the time). I think maybe my baby is not really super sleepy b/c she wakes up when we unlatch. It sounds like in your case the baby can't sleep b/c of tummy upset. I think that DEFINITELY needs to be addressed before you can fix the sleep/suck isssues. In fact, it may solve them completely. I would talk to the pediatrician about the gas issues (maybe Mylicon?). Baby is not going to relax with gas and sounds like the continuous sucking is to try and relax.

    We also use the Soothie pacifier once or twice a day. I put the paci between me & baby to help her relax. That's the only way my nipples get a chance to rest when she's full, but can't seem to drift off. Lots of other sleep help in the sleep forum....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    sleepless in ohio

    Default Re: help!4 mo old constantly latched on to sleep

    I went searching for this and other threads like it...I'm really glad I did. DD2 is 4 1/2 months and we are experiencing the SAME issues. I am sooo exhausted. Every night turns into a 3-4 hour ordeal. I suppose the good news is, it seems to be a common theme for babies this age. I am hoping it passes soon. DD1 never did this so it's all new to me and I'm out of ideas. However, I *am* going to try another brand of pacifier. I love nursing my baby, but holy cow...I can't keep doing it for hours and hours every night.

    I just wanted to let you know you're not alone and somehow we'll all make it through this stage. Right????
    Sarah- Mommy to Ally (4/16/06) , Katlyn (11/13/07) & Rebekah (10/21/09)
    All three, all natural!

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