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  #1  
March 14th, 2013, 06:29 AM
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Oh. Girls. I don't know what to do. I have felt so committed to pushing through Vincent's terrible sleep and not resorting to any CIO. But the thing is, I am afraid he's going to end up CIO simply because dh and I are such comatose that often when we finally hear him crying, he may have been crying for a little while all ready! He is possibly the most awful sleeper we have ever had and here's why...
Until one month ago, he would not go to bed until 2-3 in the morning, then would wake 3 more times before being up for the day at 7.
Then around valentines day, he started going "down" more around the six o'clock hour,which tickled me, even though he still woke another 4-5 times before midnight, and still another 4-5 times after midnight. He's a horrible beyond horrible napper. I can't put him down,he will only sleep if nursing, which would be easier if he would at least let me be where my other children are playing and doing school, but he is too easily distracted that way.
Now just recently, he's got the same night routine of waking a million times, but starting at midnight, each time he wakes, he's trying to get up for the day, no longer is he just nursing back to sleep. He nurses, then pushes me away and dh has to go and rock him endlessly back to sleep. I don't know what to do because it is really affecting us and our ability to function and take care of the other kids.

My first thought to all this bad sleeping was that he is so sleep deprived that he can't sleep well. Thus, I have done everything I can to pacify him to get the best possible sleep to push him in the right direction. But it seems to be failing miserably. He is rarely very happy. This is where I just feel like its hurting all of us, including Vincent that he isn't getting better sleep. He's miserable, despite our hardest efforts.
My struggle is that I know CIO does produce sleep, and it does produce happy babies (eventually). We have done it before but would really rather not, simply because it feels like one of those issues of..."the end doesn't justify the means." Does that make sense? But things the way they are is dangerous on so many fronts. Everything from driving this tired to carrying Vincent around the house clumsy and exhausted at night. Our marriage (for obvious reasons) is suffering and our other four kids are as well. It's so hard not to be snippy with the others during the day.
I should clarify, it has been this bad since before thanksgiving. And this was our kid who was the earliest to sleep through the night....hah, the three times he did!
I know his sleepy cues, have tried earlier bedtimes. He never falls asleep on his own anywhere without nursing, unless he has screamed himself senseless in the carseat. What are we doing wrong!?! My OB, when we were having baby number four, said, "eh, it's all just extra bread and pb from here". But, I am telling you, this baby number five has thrown us for a loop. And all of our other kids were not easy sleepers by any stretch of the imagination! This is still worse! *sigh*

I realize that starting a sleep thread could also bring out some strong feelings in the group, but I am desperate....so desperate! And truly I need any and all opinions to weigh our situation against.

Thanks for hearing me out if you made it through.


Editing to mention that he still has no teeth and I know he hasn't been teething since thanksgiving. He is close to getting a tooth,but I. Don't even think teething is bothering him that much because when he's awake, he manages just fine and doesn't act miserable at all..
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  #2  
March 14th, 2013, 08:00 AM
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Have you tried other sleep training methods? CIO isn't the only way. I suggest reading Sleep Easy.
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  #3  
March 14th, 2013, 08:03 AM
afwifey09's Avatar proud momma to Ava Kay
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I'm so sorry you're going through all this, I have no advice because I've got a horrid sleeper on my hands too, but not as bad as yours.
All I can offer is big hugs. Ava is definitely not a candidate for CIO, I've had my moments of weakness and considered it too, but if I let her wail for 5 minutes (the real crying, the stuff after she's tried her off/on fuss/cry), I spend an hour getting her off the cliff. I'm so glad I only have her, I don't know how you're doing it with 4 others.

I should add, we also tried the no cry sleep solution. It helped a tiny bit, but she's still a horrid sleeper.
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  #4  
March 14th, 2013, 09:07 AM
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I'm having the same problem with Ryan (number 5 as well). He is my lightest sleeper of all my kids and wants to be held constantly. He doesn't wake up as much as Vincent but can't fall back asleep on his own, when my other children could at this age. In about a month or so I'm going to let him CIO it out too. I'm exhausted and snippy at my other children. My DH isn't sleep deprived as much but he gets up at 5am each morning and gets home after 6 at night so he needs his sleep (even though there are days when I want to smother him, my DH that is ;-)
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  #5  
March 14th, 2013, 09:45 AM
JesusisKing's Avatar Veteran
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Goodness! I am so sorry you're going through this! I have been there, so I can sympathize with ya! This may or may not be the problem with him, but I know for AJ, he was like that when he was in pain. We figured out he has a milk protein intolerance. (you probably know that by now ) And the difference in him was like night and day when I eliminated all dairy from my diet, since I'm bf him. He is super touchy too, I might add. So not even a little piece of cheese etc.
But then just lately we started going through it again. DH would actually have to sleep downstairs, 'cuz he'd cry/scream for close to an hour at a time. And dh works loong days, so we had to figure out something.
I was soo frustrated!! Here I am watching my diet like a hawk, and he's STILL having these episodes. Long story short, both my dh and I pin-pointed it to when I started making these little desserts called "High Fiber Balls". They had absolutely no dairy in them. (Believe me, I googled oatmeal even to double check the ing. lol)
But they also had bran flakes in them ie. very high in fiber.
And over the time he was in the Hospital, I had a nurse reaffirm that yes, some babies can not handle a diet high in fiber. Not for most babies, but some. (when they did a chest x-ray on him, they even pointed out how much air/gas was in his tummy! You could easily see it.)
So I stopped eating them, and he started sleeping fine again.
So again, I would def check with me ped. too, maybe you did already?
But I'm just saying what worked for us, and if it would be that easy for you, I def. wanted to pass it along.
I'll pray for ya guys too, 'cuz it's sooo stressing! And I only have 2 others besides. I found myself getting so short with them if they were fighting. It just felt like I couldn't deal with one more thing yet.
KUP!
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Last edited by JesusisKing; March 14th, 2013 at 09:48 AM.
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  #6  
March 14th, 2013, 10:44 AM
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When he nurses to sleep, how long do you wait to put him down? DS used to take at least 30 min. to make it to deep sleep and it took me forever to figure that out.
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  #7  
March 14th, 2013, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowfish View Post
When he nurses to sleep, how long do you wait to put him down? DS used to take at least 30 min. to make it to deep sleep and it took me forever to figure that out.
Well, I have tried every amount of time trying to find the magic number but its never the same. He's such a light sleeper, even with a very efficient commercial grade sound machine. What works one time, doesn't work the next. Anymore, I have practically given up and just let him nap his whole nap on me, which still is not long enough. My other kiddos took two 2 hour naps around this age, with a possible short third nap. He takes a couple of forty minute naps at best!
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  #8  
March 14th, 2013, 11:13 AM
Blessed.Life's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I have a awful sleeper too. I haven't tried CIO yet... I feel like he will just cry and cry... even though my mom said she did it with me and I started sleeping through the night no problem after that... I am tempted but I just can't do it.

Micah wakes up soooo often sometimes as many as 10 times a night and he can not put himself down. He doesn't nap at daycare either. I read the no cry sleep method but I don't think it really changed much.

I wish I had something to say here but I really don't have any advice as I could use it myself. Hopefully one day we will all get some sleep...
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  #9  
March 14th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesusisKing View Post
Goodness! I am so sorry you're going through this! I have been there, so I can sympathize with ya! This may or may not be the problem with him, but I know for AJ, he was like that when he was in pain. We figured out he has a milk protein intolerance. (you probably know that by now ) And the difference in him was like night and day when I eliminated all dairy from my diet, since I'm bf him. He is super touchy too, I might add. So not even a little piece of cheese etc.....!
I will have to think on that. I guess the one part I don't get is that he isn't an overly fussy baby....sleep deprived and all. Could he be suffering something like that but then seem totally fine when he's up? My diet hasn't really changed that I can think of, since things got harder. Around thanksgiving, we had a lot of house guests and it just seemed like he just didn't want to miss the party. Well, party is over buddy, but he still wants to socialize! That's like, he's been getting up in the middle of the night, I nurse him, and the next thing I know, he's got his eyes open, in the pitch dark room, smiling and pulling off the breast to wave at me. . he never really acts uncomfortable, but sometimes he's just tired cranky. I dunno. If anything, I consume much less dairy now than before he started sleeping bad because I don't drink milk anymore. I will still think on it to see if I can come up with anything. Food is so often the reason for things, so, it could easily be that. I am such a habit eater though, so if its something bothering him, it must have not bothered him before....?




Thanks so much for your responses, girls. It is a relief to have your support. Not that we have kept it a secret from those around us,but we just can't seem to convey just how awful it's been to people. Plus, I think it's been hard for me to admit to myself how bad it is. For goodness' sake, baby number five, I am supposed to have it all figured out by now, right?! Not so, my friends! Not so...

I am going to try to find some books at the library...
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  #10  
March 14th, 2013, 11:39 AM
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Let me just say something else...
I am not adamantly against all CIO. Like I said, we have done it "successfully" with some of our kids. But when I had baby number four, something switched in me. I think because I saw my oldest and just realized how fast they grow, and thought about how short the time is when they need me like this, and it just made me ok with it. I am ok with it, but biologically/physically, I am just not sure how much more we can take. I feel like we have been on this roller coaster...one week we feel like we are dying and can't handle any more, and the next week we are dealing with it fine. Well, lately, I just feel like it is so much worse....we aren't bouncing back, and the last few nights have been positively awful, but something has to give here. I just keep praying that he will go through that developmental growth spurt I have been waiting all this time for....it's just...not happening!?! I will keep praying for a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel...just a glimmer would be enough for me right now! Listen to me! I sound so dramatic! I have enough experience with this to know that this does get better and it is just a blip in the grand scheme of life. I am just so tired.
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  #11  
March 14th, 2013, 11:46 AM
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Oh I forgot something else I wanted to mention.. just in case. Hopefully I don't sound all "advicey" , but I guess you wanted suggestions. lol AJ also was like that when he had really bad acid reflux... I tried zantac, and when that didn't work, I took him to the Dr. again, and he's been on Prevacid ever since.
I just had to think of that when you said he acts like he wants to nurse then pulls away. Do you ever hear weird noises like in his stomache or his throat, or burp or try to burp ? Or does he arch his back when you're trying to nurse him, like throw himself backwards?
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  #12  
March 14th, 2013, 11:47 AM
AllyssaM's Avatar Emmersyns Mommah
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I am so sorry you guys are going through this. I have a so so sleeper. Naps usually suck - She usually takes 30-45 minute naps, anywhere from 2-4 a day, and I have to help her to sleep. Which is getting difficult lately... I've had my moments where I thought about doing CIO.. But I don't think it'd work for her. When I do let her cry (when I am at my wits end and need to recoop) she just cries and cries. She sleeps okay at night the first half. Great most nights. But once she wakes up, I bring her to my bed and she is up every 1.5-2 hours after that to nurse.

Not as bad as you guys are dealing with, though. I couldn't imagine getting that little crappy sleep & having to deal with my one other child. Hugs mommah. I hope you can find something that will work for you guys.
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  #13  
March 14th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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(Could he be suffering something like that but then seem totally fine when he's up)

I'm trying to remember how he was during the day.. I guess the nights just really stick out to me, 'cuz all I wanted him to do is just to go back to sleep. lol But no, I think he had spells during the day too, esp when he was trying to sleep. I wonder if he worked the gas out better tho' when he was up and moving around. idk???
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  #14  
March 14th, 2013, 12:55 PM
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I wish I had some advice for you. I just have positive thoughts and lots of hope that he starts resting better ASAP.
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  #15  
March 14th, 2013, 01:12 PM
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Yay! I'm not the only one left with a terrible sleeper!

Basically it sounds like he has sleep associations (nursing, rocking etc.). Babies wake up all night long, but need to learn to put themselves back to sleep. I can't remember what I was reading, but when they have a sleep association, its like you falling asleep in your bed in your bedroom, but waking up with your bed on the front lawn. Something is wrong here! And that's why when he wakes up he feels he needs that association to fall asleep again. Whether it be rocking or nursing etc. So the key is to slowly remove that from your routine so he learns that he doesn't *need* it to sleep. Depending on the specific associations, different methods can be used to remove it. I'd suggest googling depending on what it is

Cam has a paci and has had one since he was about 3 or 4 weeks old. He has an intense need to suck. He used to vomit because he nursed too much. This was corrected once we introduced the paci. About 6 weeks ago, he learned how to put it in his mouth himself. About 2 weeks ago he figured out how to do it in his sleep or semi-sleep if it was within arms reach. This has helped tremendously. He nurses right before bed (and at every wake-up), and has his paci in his hand, and when he is ready, pops the boob out, shoves the paci in, and relaxes. I put him down, and sometimes there's a few minutes of protesting, but he's not hysterical. I think being able to put the paci in and make it like it was when he first fell asleep was huge for him. Its extended our wake-ups from 90ish minutes to 3 hours So I don't know if he has one or not, or if its something you might consider, but it has been a real help for us.

I also started putting him on his stomach. He almost always has a little air bubble come up within 3 minutes of me putting him down. I think this also may have been causing issues. Not sure how you have him sleeping but its something to consider.

I hope this improves for you soon! We've been working on tweaking things about 3 weeks and just the last couple days have started to see improvements. He also slept in his crib for 5 hours last night (with only 1 wakeup!) which is unheard of for him. I am very hesitant to fully use CIO, I will admit we did a couple days of a modified version, but I just couldn't continue it. He protested and wasn't hysterical but it still hurt me I also talked to a sleep specialist who was pretty useless (she wanted me to pay for the $265 package, which just isn't in our budget right now). I hope you get some good suggestions to try and that some of them work!
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  #16  
March 14th, 2013, 02:32 PM
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Great big for a start, I feel you, I really do. Xxx.

Michaela isn't a good sleeper either. She's not terrible, but she's not good. She doesn't nap much and gets overtired. It sometimes takes a lot to get her off to sleep, and things have to be just so otherwise she'll wake up several times in the night.

The way we get through for now is that we take turns doing the night with her. Literally. One of us sleeps in our bedroom with her. The other sleeps in the boxroom which is technically Daniel's but he's having sleep issues himself and wanting to sleep in Nanna's room right now. That way we get a good sleep every other night. It's not brilliant for our relationship but then neither is sleep deprivation. It's the lesser of two evils. If your DH works and you don't perhaps you could do the nights but them him give you a night off at weekends and more in the holidays. If you both work or if you both don't work then share it equally. Whoever's had the sleep the night before deals with the other kids as far as possible.

"Signalling" night time has helped her some. Previously Shaun would mostly do the nights and I would do all day every day, after I struggled with insomnia in the weeks after her birth. He sleeps with a lamp on and I don't think, personally, it helped her. When it's evening time and she's getting ready to settle off, I turn all the lamps off in the sitting room. Usually let her go to sleep in her bouncer as she goes to sleep easier sitting half up. Then transfer her to her crib. I have the lamp off in the bedroom and watch TV on mute with the subtitles on until I can settle (because I can never "switch off" straight from putting her down. I put a hot water bottle in her crib a few hours before we usually go up, and take it out just before I lie her in it so it's warm for her. I believe that helps her, as well.

I agree about checking out acid reflux as a possible culprit and also some babies just don't settle well flat on their backs so you could speak to your pedi about other positions.

Also, any possibility of anyone else (grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles?) taking him overnight once in a while to give you both a much-needed rest? Or taking him during the day for a bit so you can nap? This doesn't solve the problem for Vincent but yours and DH's health and sanity are important for ALL of your kids.

As a traditional parent, I can see merit in CIO if done for the right reasons and if baby is made to feel loved and secure and given affection otherwise, but it's one of those TP things that's not for me. I can't leave my baby to cry. Just can't do it. I did try it, briefly (because my mum said it worked), with Daniel, and found it hit or miss probably because I just couldn't stick to it because I couldn't bear hearing him cry and not going to him. I also believe it's not right for every baby, but also that if you were to try it with Vincent as a last resort, you'd get to know fairly swiftly whether there's worth in it for him or not.

Have you tried going to him but not actually picking him up? Giving him a paci, stroking his cheek or hair, saying something to him so he hears your voice, holding his hand? I find that sometimes when Michaela wakes in the night and cries out, she only wants to know I'm still there. Making sure she has her paci, hasn't thrown her blanket off and stroking her cheek for a minute often sends her right back to sleep.

I really hope things improve and will be thinking of you. I think the ladies above have given some excellent advice and plenty to think about and try.
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  #17  
March 14th, 2013, 04:26 PM
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Have you tried making sure his environment is comfortable enough? I know when our house is colder Oz will wake more frequently during the night.
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  #18  
March 14th, 2013, 09:21 PM
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Well, I have tried the things I can think of. Hot water bottles to warm his mattress. Changing the temp in the house. Wearing different types of sleepers, warm and lighter weight. Baths before bedtime. pushing lots of naps since sleep begets sleep. making him stay up and miss naps.....you name it. Wait, well....actually please do name it if you can think of anything .
I don't notice any reflux stuff right now, but when he was younger, I do remember him sorta coughing from time to time and it would seem like a spattering of water coming up his throat, the way it would cough out....if that even makes sense. Otherwise, no, but it's been a while since I have even seen that. And he's been done with spitting up for some time now, not that that means no reflux, but I would think he would be at least better now with less spit up..?
Sharron,he will occasionally go back to sleep by us patting his bum and shushing. That's a small percentage. And he doesn't take a pacifier. I have let him have one recently to play with to see if he'd take to it, but he doesn't want it.
And when I said he pushes me away, I guess I shoulda said, he pushes me away like he is not wanting to be held, cause its not just that he doesn't want to nurse. And I feel bad for him because its like he wants both...."don't leave me, keep holding me.....and, put me down and leave me alone!"
And, really, we have no family here, just close friends from church. And I know that Vincent's godparents would do anything they could to help, but it doesn't make much sense to ask them because they live an hour away and have four boys under the age of 6, and the youngest is still a nursing baby. So, their hands are certainly full. Annnnd, Vincent has never had a bottle, which I prefer, but it would be difficult to make him go from nursing practically every other hour to hardly being with me at all. Plus, I wouldn't sleep. I would be constantly thinking about him being miserable or the person watching him being miserable...
Jessica, I am glad you mentioned that whole sleep associations thing. I think I have been stuck in the habits of just doing the same old thing hoping the consistency would work, but I had kinda forgotten to be also trying more ways to teach him to go to bed without nursing. Doesn't that just sound like idiocricy!? Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result! With baby number four, he was pretty good about nursing, getting drowsy, and eventually he would start to lean away from me toward his bed and that was my cue he was ready to be laid down. It wasn't perfect every time, and we had our stress with his sleep also, but it was easier. When Vincent pulls away from nursing, it reminds me of what my last son did, only Vincent freaks as soon as I lay him down.
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  #19  
March 14th, 2013, 09:30 PM
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Oh, and he has always been a tummy sleeper. Like since he was a newborn. But I have also tried side and back, to no avail.
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  #20  
March 15th, 2013, 04:52 AM
Jessimaaka's Avatar Pink in a house of Blue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama4life View Post
Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result
I call it insanity

How about a swing? Its the only way Cam gets to nap...once we've tackled our night sleep, I'll turn focus to that. I've also jumped in the car and drove around for 15 min, but I don't believe that's an option for you?

Swaddling? I know you said he tummy sleeps, but perhaps a loose swaddle will help him not realize right away you've put him down.

Some websites that I've come across in my travels that perhaps reading through will help you think of some other things to try:
- troublesometots.com
- sleeperific.com
- scienceofmom.com

They all do talk about various methods of CIO but there are hidden gems in there that you can try without doing CIO.
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