Monday, December 8, 2008

Sleep? Sleep!

I need advice. 

(And before I go any further, if you read this and feel compelled to criticize, please just stay silent...  my psyche can't handle that on no sleep).

Here's the deal.  C is not the world's best sleeper.  She's not the world's worst, but as it stands now, she's not all that great. 

Her daily sleep generally looks like this:

Up at 7:00am. 
Nap at 9:00am (usually for an hour or a bit more)
Nap at 1:00pm  (This nap is generally two hours or more)
Bed at 7:00pm

Once she's in bed, I can generally expect that she'll be up at 11:00, 2:00, 5:00 and then 7 for the day. 

I can go in there and feed her for five minutes and she's usually back out again. 

Lately, she's been waking up and wanting to stay up for hours in the middle of the night.

Other things:

We have a nighttime routine and she knows what to expect. 

She has a security blanket that she sleeps with and it calms her.  She also sucks her two first fingers, so it's not as if I have to worry about replacing a pacifier. 

She can fall asleep in a variety of ways:  rocking, nursing, driving in a car, and lying down on her own.  Her favorite method is generally nursing when it's me putting her down, and I don't mind.  She will go down for other people easily though, so it's not really a problem.  And there are plenty of times when she's still awake after nursing and I'll lay her down and she'll fuss for a second and go to sleep.

We are not opposed to letting her cry, though I draw the line at letting her get hysterical.  Fussing and on and off crying is ok.  Screaming is not.  It's just not how we roll.

She's a happy kid and generally has a good disposition. 

Some days she will wake up and go right back to sleep on her own, and some days she doesn't.

There's not a whit that's consistant with the kid.

Except that she is nursed 100% of the time and oh man, she doesn't take a bottle.  (We're trying).  

Oh and she sleeps in her own bed as co-sleeping didn't/doesn't work for ANY of us.  Well, C might eventually fall asleep, but I never will and that's half the goal.  So that's not really an option at this point. 

Anyway, I'm very keen on figuring out a way that we all can get a little more sleep in a row. 

Suggestions?    I'm game to hear most anything, (though again, if you want to be preachy or judgy, this isn't the forum for your comments, sorry). 

I'm just a wee bit tired. 


  1. Just wanted to give you a ::hug::

    Maybe a little encouragement... Luke took awhile to sleep all the way through (longer than Bean, although not as long as C or Jules) and he is a great sleeper now.

  2. well, every baby is different. for me, i eventually realized that the only thing i could do was wait it out. so i know, i'm no help.

    i would suggest no-cry sleep solution. it didn't work for us, but it's the most gentle of all the books i read.

  3. No suggestions from me either just lots of love because none of my kids slept through the night solid. We just managed to achieve co-sleeping but it is definitely not for everyone. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel:)

  4. No suggestions, but I will offer to babysit while you sleep. We love you, Jan

  5. I'll be looking for others responses, because Abby is 18 months and I have not had a good night sleep in....18 months or so.

    Thinking of you and the family.

  6. I can relate to the part about having a child who wants to be awake for hours in the night. Hope was doing that for months this summer. We eventually got serious about laying her down drowsy but awake, letting her cry for a bit, and falling asleep on her own. It NEVER worked before, though we tried many times, but one day it just did. And that nipped the late-night parties in the bud. I can't offer a formula, other than to just keep trying. I'm with you though - I'd rather be awake than let the kid cry til they're hysterical. I don't roll with that either :)

  7. How frustrated are you that none of us have the answer? I'm SO sorry that I don't either.

    It's a lot harder with child #2 because you also have to think about #1 sleeping in the room next door. Don't want to wake up #1 getting #2 back to sleep.

    I've typed in six different suggestions but the bottom line is that every kid is different and every parent is different. You WILL get through this. You are a good mom and you love your kid.

    I recommend "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child" as a great book that offers well researched advice.

  8. Drugs. Either for yourself or for C. Either way, you'll get sleep! :)

    Okay, kidding, mostly... do you think she could be teething? Is it an all the time thing needing to get more sleep or just an every so often thing?

    I feel for you! M is an excellent sleeper. Z on the other hand has his issues - wanting to be held, sung to, scratch his back, whatever... come to think of it, maybe C doesn't want to be along? I know that is what it is with Z. Maybe C wakes up often because she just wants to know you are there? Not sure how to help with it though.

    I'm with Amy, so sorry you don't get much of an answer from any of us. The book she mentioned though, is fantastic!

  9. So sorry your not getting a long stretch of sleep at a time.

    When the boys were little and I had to be at work the next morning, we put them on our bedtime schedule. We kept them up later and fed them cereal and a small bottle just before bed. As an infant we would put them to bed around 9 and we went to bed around 10. That changed as they got older and napped less during the day.

    Oh...... we did the co-sleeping thing too. When they woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep, it was snuggle time and they would go to sleep with me. I needed my sleep to function at work. I don't recommend that's a hard habit to break.

    It's been a long time ago for me, just thought I would try to help. I know what it's like not to get my sleep.

    Good luck and I hope you get some sleep soon!

  10. Some suggestions:

    Omit the morning nap.

    Keep her up later at night. I've never had a baby go down for the night at 7pm. And I've done it six times now.

    You already know that you're supposed to make night wakings as unpleasant as possible, right? No turning on lights, no singing, no talking, no nothing -- and at this time in her life, I would assume that the doctor has said that it's OK for her to not be fed overnight, right? So stop nursing her when she wakes, as that just reinforces the behavior. If she MUST have something to drink, let it be water.

    Have Shaun be the one to go to her at night, if someone actually NEEDS to do so. If she learns that it won't be you, she might decide that it's not worth waking.

    Hope these help!

  11. I would also suggest keeping her up later at night. It worked for us. and pushing back the morning nap.

    Another thing that worked for us was, Kyle had a mobile that had a kinda canopy that some little lishts shone on it, and it played classical music. He loved this. It also had a remote control, that you could turn it on with. So you could do it from the door way. Later on I put the remote in with him, and he could turn it on himself. Then when he was older still he could operate the buttons hime self. We were able to use it until he was out of the crib.

    I hope this helps.

  12. I agree with a lot of the comments that were made but being the parent of only one child,I sadly, have nothing new to add. Only that I LOVE you and C-rex and I know that your kids are growing up well loved and that matters a ton. I'm praying often that God will give you rest that doesn't come from sleep. You WILL make it through this phase!!

  13. I had similar sleep issues with my baby girl for a very long time. I was getting up and nursing her often all night and sooo sleep deprived. Someone told me that they really don't need to nurse at night after 3 months so I decided to try and stop doing that. She would wake up and cry and I would go in and talk to her and rub her back and give her her blanket and reassure her I was there. Than I would leave and wait exactly 5 minutes, do the same thing and than go back at 10 minutes. And continue every 10 minutes as long as it took for her to fall asleep. After many, many times of this she got the hint and ended up sleeping all night after a couple nights.
    This worked for us but may not for you guys. Every baby is so different. When you are in it you feel like you will never get a good night's sleep!!!!! One day you will I promise!!!

  14. my advice... wait 4 years? cause hopefully she'll be able to sleep by then?

    i only say that because i'm hundreds of miles away from you and you can't punch me. :)

    I know sleep deprivation is killer. Sorry you're going through it...:(

  15. I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. Good sleep makes such a difference in one's ability to handle everyday issues. Please keep in mind that you're trying to be a better mom by getting good sleep. You may need to remember this when you're trying to deal with these night wakings. Crying may be involved, unfortunately. But the goal is that you get sleep so you can be on top of your game for BOTH of your kids during the day.

    That said, I agree that hysterical crying sucks. Josie used to get herself so wound up, I thought she's stop breathing. Definitely not fun. But both of my kids have been good sleepers (up to this point). I'm generally a BabyWise fan. I think you already know about that book. And I know lots of people either love it or hate it. It's worked well for me, but I've only dealt with two kids and maybe somehow their just wired to be good sleepers. Not sure.

    But as far as suggestions go:
    1. Making it as unpleasant as possible (as stated in another comment) is good. Definitely try to eliminate the mini-nursing sessions. Maybe pick her up for a minute or two to calm her down and then put her back to bed. And repeat, waiting longer to go soothe her, until she gives up or falls asleep. You will probably get even less sleep while you're doing this. But try to remember the goal, and give your hubby a shift.

    2. You could try leaving a piece of clothing that smells like you in her crib at bedtime or when you go in to soothe her in the middle of the night.

    3. You could also try to teach her to play quietly in her crib if she's not tired in the middle of the night. I always had stuff in the crib for Josie to play with and had regular play time in her crib during the day.

    Personally, I'm a big fan of early bedtime. Early like 7pm early. So I'll do whatever I can to make that happen. It's such a nice thing to have some time with my hubby. But how 'bout we just try to get you more than 3hrs sleep at a time first :)

    That's it I guess. Unfortunately, no one can tell you what the "right" thing is to do. Just like most of the other things you learn in motherhood, its all about trial-and-error while trying not to permanently scar your children for life.
    Also remember that this behavior has been going on for months, which is most if not all of C's life. It's all she knows. So don't expect to be able to change it in one night. It will take time. There may be (lots of) crying involved (you and C). But remember your goal. Take care of yourself so you can be on top of your game.

    Don't get overwhelmed. Work on reducing wake-ups one at a time. Start with whichever one you think would be easiest for you or C to deal with.

    Also, the "experts" always talk about being consistent with discipline, routine, etc. I think that applies here too. As you try different things, your mommy intuition will tell you immediately that some just won't work. But if your not convinced that some method is completely diabolical, then give it enought time to work.

    Love you. Good luck!


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