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  • New AP Parent - Seeking Sleep Advice Long Post sorry

    Hi everyone,

    I'm a new mom and my ds is almost 5 months. I have been trying very hard to keep with ap from about 3-4 weeks - made some mistakes in the beginning - listening to others advice instead of my heart. Anyway - I am burnt out bigtime and am starting to find myself disengaging because I am completely exhausted. We are co-sleeping and I've been ebf from the beginning - no pumping for bottles either.
    The things that are burning me out are:
    1) ds is all night nursing - at least every hour and half - many times more often - and often needs to keep my nipple in his mouth to suckle for much longer than he's eating.
    I have been trying Elizabeth Pantley's "The No Cry Sleep Solution" - to no avail - if it works with the nursing - he's rooting 15 minutes later and I usually give in and give him his soother.
    2) by 3 am is very restless and starts nursing every hour to half hour. (Gas??)
    Usually between 5 and 7am - he has my nipple in his mouth almost the entire time. I'm not a pro at laying down so I'm awake through much of this kind of propped up.
    3) doesn't fall asleep nursing any other time - we literally "dance" him to sleep for his naps and bedtime. Bedtime is now taking sometimes 2 hours to get him down. We can't rock him to sleep either - which would be nice since he's almost 18 lbs now.
    4) He rarely will go down for his naps so he sleeps on either me or DH or I nap with him (unfortunately this is rare - once a week probably)
    5) naps only for 45 min to hour tops - less if he's in the wrap - which I try to use at least once a day if not more.

    Now if it were one or two of these things - I would be fine and all of this was ok for the first 5 months but now that things are getting worse it's burning me out.

    By worse I mean - taking 2 hours to get him down to bed (used to be about 1/2 hour) - he used to sleep good in between nursing at night - now he's so restless he usually keeps me up. It's taking longer to get him down for naps now too.

    I'm trying so hard but I find myself crying at bedtime now so quickly when he won't settle for sleep.

    He deserves so much better than the care hes' been getting the last 4 nights (DH has been on night shift)- it's so unfair to him for me to be impatient, angry or any other negative emotion. He's much too young to deserve that. I know I'm burning out and not sure how to make the changes necessary.

    Looking for any advice on how to make some changes.

    Would love to be able to rock him to sleep instead of dancing or nurse to sleep (that would be wonderful!!!) I don't want to stop parenting him to sleep - maybe a change in style and how to make the change gently?
    Would love to know why he's so restless at night? I also do not expect to lose night feedings either - love them when he sleeps soundly afterward.

    Any other advice would be very welcomed!!! Even if it's to tell me that this is the way it is and that what I'm doing is ok - even though I feel I'm doing nothing right at this point. Especially while at a baby shower yesterday - I hear how he should be sleeping through the night by now and that his cousin who's 6 weeks younger only gets up once to feed and takes 3 hour naps during the day!!! I know that's not realistic for us but is there an in between this early on???

    Sorry so long - it's just all come at once!
    Last edited by luvsunflower; 11-24-2008, 09:39 PM.

  • #2
    Hello luvsunflower,
    My second baby (who is now 13m) did very similar things at this age. I had to pace back and forth in our small house with him in the Mei-tai while doing rhythmic 'shushing'. I can totally see how the amount of time it takes to get him down is wearing you out.
    I have a couple of ideas that might help, but first try to catch up on sleep maybe this week during the holiday (are you in the US?.)
    Maybe, change the bedtime (earlier or later..waiting for sleepy cues)
    Explore allergies or sensitivities in your milk ( my second is sensitive to dairy so we cut it out)
    Re-think bedding,pj's, bedroom for possible allergies (some children are very sensitive to synthetics or down) Too hot or cold in room etc.
    Totally change your approach, bounce on your lap, try the rocking again. Last night my baby wouldn't nurse to sleep either but he did fall asleep to a singing, dancing snowman from Hallmark!

    I think your baby is ready to have a change, because its not working anymore for him either.
    We used a pacifier for a few months also, mostly in the car, but I don't see why you couldn't use it at night. It might help you regain some equilibrium , then next month you can wean him off of it if you want.

    Do you have a local group? I know it is difficult being a new mom!You are doing a wonderful job being sensitive to your child's needs, and acknowledgeing your own!

    Please keep asking us questions if you need.

    Comment


    • #3
      if he's restless all night, swaddling may help him. dr. harvey karp demonstrates it in his Happiest Baby On the Block DVD. i guess swaddling is a technique that must be done just right in order to be effective. you can probably get it from your library, or have your reference librarian track it down for you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Naomi and Dedra both have some fantastic suggestions. My daughter was a restless sleeper at night and we found out that she did better while swaddled. Even though we co-slept, she seemed to find comfort in the swaddling.

        The side-lying nursing takes some practice but in my experience, it is worth it. I would practice it during the daytime hours when I wasn't so groggy. I found that once the wee one and I both mastered that position, nighttime nursing was so much easier. Here is a link with pictures on the side-lying nursing as well as other lying down nursing positions: http://www.mother-2-mother.com/tut-layingdown.htm

        After I got the hang of side-lying nursing, I went on to this "Lactation Yoga" technique: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/bas...tion-yoga.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for all the suggestions! We have been swaddling him as I read Harvey Karps book very early on. That's how we started the dancing because rocking and swinging were not working and in his book he suggests whatever movement does work. So began the dancing....

          We stopped swaddling him about two weeks ago because he is getting pretty old for swaddling no? I just feel like I'm popping him in a straight jacket - and how's he supposed to get rid of the soother if he can't at least get to his fingers/thumb. That's what I thought anyway.

          As for the diet - I've decided to take dairy products out of my diet for at least 10 days to see if that makes a difference. I'm not a milk drinker but do eat cheese, yogurt and such so we'll try that.

          My DH is trying to get him to sleep now - at first in the beroom like we usually do and he cried for almost 10 minutes in his arms - I'm not sure what's going on but it's obvious he's taking a non-liking to something in his bedtime routine. It's not much different from his naps except for location so we've agreed to change location (bedroom) for a while and break his connection. We'll move to the downstairs and put him in bed after he's fast asleep for a while.

          I cannot bear to hear him cry - it's heartbreaking - I just don't understand why all of sudden he's fighting his bedtime sleep so much???

          Well thank you for the advice - we will keep trucking day by day - and thank you for the link to the nursing pics. They helped a lot because I usually prop myself up with my elbow and then find when I lay down my nipple is pointed towards the bed so it slides out of his mouth. I never thought of putting a pillow behind me - this may become difficult with 3 of us in our teeny Queen size bed. But I am working on DH for a King size!! :-)

          Well DH just came down and DS is sleeping soundly for now.....

          Thanks again!
          Last edited by luvsunflower; 11-25-2008, 07:05 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by luvsunflower View Post

            We stopped swaddling him about two weeks ago because he is getting pretty old for swaddling no? I just feel like I'm popping him in a straight jacket - and how's he supposed to get rid of the soother if he can't at least get to his fingers/thumb. That's what I thought anyway.
            if you still have karp's books, i'd double=check on the age for no longer swaddling. i thought i remembered in his seminar that he said swaddling is appropriate much longer than what most people do.

            FWIW, i remember both of my babies would fight sleep so hard. they'd scream bloody murder for 15-30 minutes, it was almost as if they were unwinding themselves. i'd have them in the SLING and just do the mommy dance, it was all i could do. but now, at 5 and 2, they're going to sleep on their own, together in their 2 beds pushed up against each other.
            Last edited by PaxMamma; 11-26-2008, 05:53 AM. Reason: typo: meant SLING, not swing

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
              if you still have karp's books, i'd double=check on the age for no longer swaddling. i thought i remembered in his seminar that he said swaddling is appropriate much longer than what most people do..
              I'll definitely look into it - we still swaddle him sometimes when he won't settle. We usually just swaddle his arms now anyway - I've read research that swaddling them for too long during the night is not good for the hip and leg development, especially when sleeping on their sides, which ds does.

              Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
              FWIW, i remember both of my babies would fight sleep so hard. they'd scream bloody murder for 15-30 minutes, it was almost as if they were unwinding themselves.
              How could you stand this? I can barely let him cry for 2-3 minutes it feels like forever. I feel like I'm damaging him. he hates his car seat and cries a lot - when it gets really escalated - I usually watch the clock and pull over and nurse him every 10-15 minutes. It's so hard to go anywhere!!!

              I'm sure I'm just being too hard on myself - I know it's ok for them cry sometimes. But it's just so hard to hear him in what seems like such dispair. I tell ya - I don't know what I'm going to do when he really hurts himself or gets sick for the first time!!

              I guess I just have to relax a bit - I got him to sleep last night in the rocking chair after struggling for about an hour of bouncing/dancing around the house - I figured if he was going to cry/fuss doing that - I may as well sit down and he gave in and fell asleep after 5 minutes in the rocking chair!

              DH and I talked tonight and I'm going to try and stop putting so much expectations on what should be happening and try to go with the flow a bit more.

              I did read some other posts about Calm's Forte too and went to get some today.

              Thanks so much for all the advice - it helps so much to hear from parents who go through the same things with their little ones and who really want to stick with AP. I'm tired of hearing - Well maybe if you put him in his own bed - he would stop nursing so much!!!

              Anyway - tomorrow is always another day!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by luvsunflower View Post
                How could you stand this? I can barely let him cry for 2-3 minutes it feels like forever. I feel like I'm damaging him. he hates his car seat and cries a lot - when it gets really escalated - I usually watch the clock and pull over and nurse him every 10-15 minutes. It's so hard to go anywhere!!!
                oh, i don't think i did stand it. i hated it! but what else could i do? if i had control over his crying, of course i would have stopped it, but none of the tricks i knew worked, so i just put them in my sling and held them till they finally dozed off. i think we just learned, esp. w/the first, that sometimes crying is their way of releasing frustrations and excess energy, and, in the safety of my arms, they felt free to do it. my first had colic REAL bad, he screamed from 6-8 every. single. night.

                if i knew all the things then that i do now, i probably would have looked deeper into diet, swaddling, vaccines, etc. don't know if it would have helped, but would have tried.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
                  it was almost as if they were unwinding themselves. i'd have them in the swing and just do the mommy dance, .
                  oh no! that's a typo! i totally meant sLing, not sWing! what good would it do to put them in the swing and dance? besides, ds2 would NEVER stand for that contraption!

                  i hope everyone who read my initial post comes back and reads my correction. i don't want to give the impression that i put my baby in a swing to cry!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
                    oh no! that's a typo! i totally meant sLing, not sWing! what good would it do to put them in the swing and dance? besides, ds2 would NEVER stand for that contraption!

                    i hope everyone who read my initial post comes back and reads my correction. i don't want to give the impression that i put my baby in a swing to cry!!
                    ok - that makes way more sense!!!! I understood you put them in the sWing!!! LOL

                    That's why I asked - How could you stand it? Makes sense now - total sense!!!
                    Not much you can do there - my midwife always says "A baby crying in your arms is not the same as a baby crying alone". How true.

                    Well I just wanted to say that today was a great day! My mom came out to help and ds slept in our bed...... Not anyones arms today for a whole hour and half nap!!! I LOVE when he naps in my arms, don't get me wrong - but it's nice that he can sleep in bed sometimes too. And only took 15 minutes of me singing to go to bed tonight!!!!!! I moved his bedtime earlier and he was much more receptive. Not sure what time he'll get up now but again.....
                    tomorrow is another day to wake up to those precious smiles!!!

                    thanks again - it's wonderful support - I'm going to love it here!

                    Oh - and I also found an AP group in my area that meets once a month! Yeeeaaaahhhhh!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh yeah, I am glad you are making progress!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by luvsunflower View Post
                        Makes sense now - total sense!!!
                        Not much you can do there - my midwife always says "A baby crying in your arms is not the same as a baby crying alone". How true.

                        whew! i'm glad we cleared that up! i think something's wrong w/me. i've been having crazy synaptic breaks, subbing incorrect words all over the place, not just in typing, but in speech.

                        glad you had a better day. don't get discouraged, your good days will become more and more frequent.

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