Baby sleep problems...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by maxeygirls, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. maxeygirls

    maxeygirls New Member

    So easy child has decided sleep is no fun unless she is in my arms. difficult child is still having sleep issues and I get about an hour of sleep a night when easy child wont sleep. Im hoping someone has some advice.
    easy child is 8 months old, strictly breastfed (dont suggest a bottle unless you want to come to my house and hear the screaming lol), healthy weight and otherwise a happy baby.
    Typical night consists of a rock solid routine with dinner by 5:30, bath after for both difficult child and easy child together (their favorite time of the day), difficult child's medications at 7, difficult child in bed by 7:30. easy child and I then begin our evening nursing and she falls asleep in my arms. I attempt to lay her down and screaming begins. I can continue this routine till up to 1am. Ive tried walking, rocking, letting her cry for periods 5-15 minutes then rocking, it always ends in nursing which is the only thing that calms her down. Once she's nursed she either falls asleep again only to wake up when I put her down or wakes up and wants to play.
    Nap schedule during the day seems to change nothing, 0,1 or 2 naps it doesnt matter, she wont sleep.
    Everyone without a difficult child says to take her to bed with me but they don't understand that when difficult child sleeps from 8-1 or 2 in the morning is the only time I can do housework.
    My mother suggested that I let easy child cry it out completely for 2-3 nights and see if it makes a difference. She said it worked when she did it with me. Nothing else seems to be working and just letting her stay up and play doesnt work because she has to be playing with me, usually in my lap which solves nothing.
    Im desperate, does anyone have any suggestions?
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I breastfed my first and not my second. I think it's a wonderful thing, but circumstances did not permit with the second.

    My neighbor, I, across the street has a boy, S, who is now 19 months old. She breastfed him and may still, I'm not sure. I remember them walking him in the pram every day and being so embarrassed, he just hollered his lungs out. He didn't sleep, he cried all of the time. I imigrated from Poland, and has a little girl, A, who is in kindergarten now, and she as breastfed as well. I's mother finally came from Poland to visit when S was about 6 - 8 months old. She said "That baby's hungry! Feed him some cereal!"

    Being a good daughter who didn't want to pick a fight with her mother, she gave S some cereal. S stopped crying. He was hungry. I may be wrong, but I think it might be worth a shot to give him something more to fill him up and put him down to sleep. Don't get yourself tugged into having him sleep only with you. That's not what anyone needs. Everyone needs to sleep. He needs to learn to sleep on his own.

    While I wrote this, I realized that my niece, who was breastfed and is a member of La Leche League herself, was also a hungry baby. She was born at 10 pounds (!) and her mom started adding cereal when she was about 3 months. It calmed her down and got her to sleep.

    I'm not sure what else you may be supplementing feeding with, because you don't say. But, it can't hurt to try to fill him up and see how it goes.

    Good luck!
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Have you tried nursing easy child earlier in the evening and then try reading a short story in the rocker and then cuddling with her with the lights out before the usual time she would go down for the night? Maybe she would fall asleep eventually, and it may take several days of this substitute routine, but I think you've got to try to transition her to something else as a comfort object for your own sanity. Does she have a favorite soft snuggly item that you could include in the bedtime routine?

    Witz makes a good point, don't know if you've introduced solids yet, but it might be time to do that for her evening meal, then top it off with a breast feeding BEFORE bedtime so she still gets that time with you.
  4. maxeygirls

    maxeygirls New Member

    Ooops, I should mention, easy child eats 2-3 JARS of stage 2 baby food plus cereal at about 5:30-6. I know she isn't hungry especially since I overproduce too. Honestly if she does anything more than comfort nurse after 10pm she just spits it up because her tummy is too full.
    And Ive tried starting the routine earlier but with difficult child it really doesnt work and Im lucky difficult child goes down at all.

    These are the days I just look to the sky and scream "Is this deployment over yet? I want my husband back!"
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I would try the cereal. I had an old pediatrician (he was easy child's great-aunt's pediatrician) and he had my son on cereal at 10 days.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Well, if he isn't in any physical distress - I wouldn't let him go until he stopped, but I would leave him down on his own for 3 minutes, then eventually 5, then so forth. You have to wean him of this.
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I had three breastfed babies and they weren't good sleepers. They ate vigorously so hunger wasn't an issue (one was 17 pounds at the 2 month checkup!) but they only wanted MOM for comfort and the breast to fall back asleep.

    I didn't have good success with crying it out because it seemed like every time I was making progress they'd get a cold or ear infection, but if your little darlin' is well and not in teething pain I'd go for it. If we didn't have the illnesses to deal with I think it probably would have worked for two of the three.

    You also might want to do some reading on sensory integration problems in infants. My youngest was a very sensitive spirit, very tactile, and very much comforted by touch so she always wanted a warm body to sleep by. No matter what we did she wound up back in bed with us until we discovered that she slept well inside a high loft mummy sleeping bag and she used that for years. Not a solution for an infant, but you get the idea of how her behaviors molded to get some very real sensory needs met.

    One of mine liked to be swaddled tightly (even as an older baby) and have a lullaby tape playing all night.
  8. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    You're stressed, too, and she could be picking up on that. I'm not being critical; my kids did, too. If I could calm myself down and relax, so would they.

    I don't have any good suggestions because both of my kids went through various sleep 'things' and it took a long, long time to get them out of those habits. IOW, I wouldn't recommend what I did. LOL

    Is there anyone who could take your kids for a few hours? Or even come over in the evening when difficult child is in bed and easy child has had her last feeding? You need some sleep. That has to be a priority over getting things done around the house. Sleep deprivation can cause some serious health issues, besides the fact that it's just hard taking care of 2 little ones by yourself, let alone on little to no sleep. If you have to put easy child in bed with you to get her to sleep, then I would do it. YOU need sleep, too. The other stuff will still be there.
  9. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Maxey, are you against letting easy child cry it out for 2 to 3 nights to see if that works?

    It was painful for husband and me, but it did work (although like SRL, we did have various ear inflection interruptions at times).
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hi Maxey,

    My easy child was like that right around 8/9 months. Ugh, it was horrible, but she was the oldest so I didn't have another one stealing my time either. Against my own feelings, I took my mother in law's advice and let her cry it out. BUT, according to the experts, you don't just let her cry it out with no end - that would stress you out even more and she'd never settle down.

    You do your nightly routine as per usual (*babies do not sleep well on very full bellies - perhaps she's getting too much food before bedtime?) and then you settle her in and leave the room. First for 3 minutes, then for 5 minutes, then 7 minutes, then 10 minutes and so on adding 5 minutes for each interval. It will most definitely be stressful for those first few nights and if you've been giving in more than not lately, it could take up to a week or so to get her into this new routine.

    Also, some babies do like to be snug when they go to bed, others not so much. It sounds like yours like that snuggly feeling and at 8 months, the worry over her smothering because she can't roll over is minimal, so perhaps she prefers to be resting on her belly instead of her side or back. What is her natural sleeping position when she's in bed with you? Is she right up against you? If so, how about you put a nice soft stuffed animal beside her at night? Is she a belly sleeper or a back sleeper? Does she feel hot next to you when she's sleeping or do you think she's chilled and wants the warmth? Before you start the new routine, notice these things to help you determine how you set up her bed for a good night's sleep.

    Also, before you set up this new routine, think about ways in which you can get a break from the kids altogether. Perhaps hiring a Mother's Helper from the neighborhood (you can check with your local HS guidance office for referrals) for the hours of 4-7 to help you wind down and to help the kids keep busy so you can focus on an easier dinner hour, perhaps taking a nice shower, etc. The MH can play with the kiddos or help with housework, or whatever you choose. If you had a MH for only 3 evenings a week, it would be a help.

    Hugs -
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ahhh...the breastfed baby! My middle granddaughter was like that. My son and daughter-in-law still are going through grief over how long she was breastfed.

    daughter in law breastfed Hailie until she was around 18 months. I think she stopped when she found out she was pregnant with Michael. She decided right from the get go that she wouldnt breastfeed

    Hailie wouldnt let anyone feed her from a bottle. She wouldnt even take juice from a bottle. She had to be tied to mommy completely. She had to sleep with mommy. It was and is a nightmare. Now at some point Hailie would go to sleep and mommy could leave her in bed but it was tough. She had to feed her so she would go to sleep.
  12. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Not all breastfed babies are tied to their mommies. I breastfed both of mine and only easy child was attached at my hip, er, or whatever. I only breastfed easy child till she was around 9 months and I only stopped because I had to take massive antibiotics to kill strep. difficult child breastfed for over a year and she wasn't as attached to me at all - in fact, she was always trying to be independent of me and loved her own bed. She never had a problem sleeping in her own space, she liked being alone.

    I don't think this issue has anything to do with being breastfed. It has to do with the child and the schedule/habits/patterns set forth by the mommy & daddy.
  13. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

  14. maxeygirls

    maxeygirls New Member

    Well I ended up falling asleep with easy child breastfeeding in bed at 1am. Letting her cry and comforting her failed miserably. She just kept making herself sick.
    Flutterby- she has cereal in her baby food but since she doesn't take bottles I have no other way to give it to her. And no, there is nobody to help me at all. My parents do their best but an hour or so every other week is all I can get.
    JoG- She has been a tummy sleeper since day one due to acid reflux so this doesnt seem to help. And I dont think breastfeeding is the problem its just that bottle fed babies who pacify usually do so with detachable pacifiers ;) And we can't afford a mothers helper, even if there were any I trusted.

    Smallworld- Im taking her to the pediatrician today to rule out any physical issues before going any further. If they have no other suggestions I feel my only choice is to try letting her cry it out for 2-3 nights. If there is NO change at all then Ill go from there.
    I just can't keep living with 1-2 hours of sleep every 24 hours:whiteflag:.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Make sure you have earphone or earbuds with music to keep you sane. The cry it out method works for most but it is hard, hard, hard for Moms.
    Good luck. DDD
  16. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! I've got a virus running through the house so I can't read all of the ideas, but I just went through this with easy child (1).

    I moved her cereal up to the 8:00 feeding, and it worked! She started sleeping through the night (well, most of the time)!

    I'm feeling it for you Max! It's been crazy around here with the nutty sleeping habits they all have (except difficult child 2 - he goes to bed and he's out for the night!).

    Take care!

  17. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Maxey, I'm here in the trenches with you too. I have 2 5-month-old twins who are very mummy-dependent. I've just gone back to work in the last few days, and they're playing "where's mummy" every night because I'm not home with them during the day anymore.

    I think that, all physical things checking out, that crying it out is probably what you'll need to do. Rather than the strict cry-until-they-pass-out-from-exhaustion thing, have you thought about the Baby-Whisperer/Supernanny approach?

    They recommend:
    - When your baby is in her crib crying, go in, make no eye contact, pat and comfort in the crib until the baby settles down, and then leave the room again. Don't pick your baby up while you're doing this.

    It may take hours and hours the first night, and be even worse the second night, but after a few nights, she may just learn to fall asleep in her crib.

    I had to do this with Little easy child (now 8), and it was the hardest 3 nights ever, but after that it was done, and he's been a great sleeper ever since.

    Sending hugs and strength, and hoping that you find a solution that works for you soon.

  18. maxeygirls

    maxeygirls New Member

    Well I'm glad we saw the doctor before starting the cry it out method. Her change in sleep patterns is because she has a double ear infection. She is also amazingly gaining weight quicker than she was which is awesome. Usually babies with ear infections lose weight, glad I've been the human pacifier.
    I also picked up a Tommy Tippee sippy cup and a Mam bottle, both are the newest suggestions for de-breasting a bit. Ill pump after bedtime (whenever the heck that is) and try it in the morning. Im dying to take difficult child on a mommy/daughter date for Valentines day so I hope easy child takes one of the two!
    The doctor said that if her sleep pattern does not improve after the antibiotics to go ahead and try letting her cry it out.
    Crazy question....does anyone know of any probiotics that are NOT dairy in any way, shape or form?
  19. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    When my daughter got ear infections, she didn't cry or pull at her ears. She just didn't sleep and wanted me to play with her. I thought it was the oddest thing, but apparently not!
  20. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Do you have a Whole Foods in your area? You might want to ask about the probiotics there. My kids used to take a powder probiotics (can't remember the name) from Whole Foods when they were on antibiotics, but I have no idea if it has dairy in it.