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Sleep deprived...help please!

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  • Sleep deprived...help please!

    Hi - I really need some advice!! My sweet 8-month-old daughter, Parisa, is stirring so many times at night that I have seen every hour of every day for the past few days, and now I can barely see straight at all! We bedshare, breastfeed, and do everything else AP style. My husband is out of town during the week so I'm alone in this endeavor 6 days/5 nights per week.

    Parisa goes to sleep pretty peacefully during the day or at night as long as I nurse her to sleep. She usually takes three 2-hour naps during the day - but they are much shorter if I don't nurse her when she stirs and whimpers. I'm usually right there in bed, trying to get a nap myself, which rarely happens because I get woken up by her wanting to nurse. Recently it's become the same story at night...all night.

    She usually doesn't wake up fully at night, just stirs and fusses until I nurse her. We've also been practicing elimination communication and recently I've noticed that if she does start crying, she usually has to potty, so I've been pottying her at around 2 or 3 am and again around 5 or 6 am. If I don't potty her, she continues to cry off and on (as opposed to just fussing). Unfortunately, she doesn't sleep solidly afterwards, but she stops crying.

    I've viewed this as "just the way it goes" but now I'm having trouble being fully present with her (or any task) during the day. I need sleep or I'm going to pass out!! Any advice or thoughts would beGREATLY appreciated!!

    Thanks so much!!

  • #2
    Hi there! I know it must be tough to have no back-up... Do you have a freind or a relative that can hang with the baby while you take a nap in the other room... Are you napping with her during the day? Please let cleaning and laundry go untill you are at a better place! Stick with a functional minimum for housekeeping! Do you nurse while laying down. Can you sleep and nurse at the same time?

    After you are caught up on sleep a little then we can discuss making adjustments to your nighttime. If you try anything now your patience level will be so low it will be this desperation struggle! Your job now should be resting! Lay on the couch while she plays right next to you on the floor! Eat frozen food! Recharge yourself!

    If your current daytime or nighttime routine is not working for you, think about what changes you can make in yourself and your lifestyle that will make it easier for you to meet your baby's needs. This is a better approach than immediately trying to change your baby. After all, you can control your own reactions to a situation. You can't control how your baby reacts. Use discernment about advice that promises a sleep-through-the-night more convenient baby, as these programs involve the risk of creating a distance between you and your baby and undermining the mutual trust between parent and child. On the surface, baby training sounds so liberating, but it's a short-term gain for a long-term loss. You lose the opportunity to know and become an expert in your baby. Baby loses the opportunity to build trust in his caregiving environment. You cease to value your own biological cues and judgment and follow the advice of someone who has no biological attachment, nor investment, in your infant.
    Well written advice from Dr. Sears http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/t070700.asp

    From the same article...so true!
    While babies have a lot of wonderful attributes, convenience is not one of them.
    and just in case.... Please don't be alarmed but just read this link to see if anything resonates with you...... but do it after you get some rest! HIDDEN MEDICAL CAUSES OF NIGHTWAKING

    Give us updates...ask more questions!

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    • #3
      In my experience whatever pattern they are in usually changes after a couple of days or a week. But she may be teething too and that certainly can make for a more wakeful baby... if you think she is in pain you might try to do something about that... ditto on the trying to get a break if you have a good friend to take your baby for a little break or nap... at 8 months if she is not crawling to much you could really baby proof a room and try to cat nap while she plays if she will do that (mine would not)... Often my DD would not stay in a pattern for too long.. either a good or a bad pattern..

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      • #4
        Originally posted by desertpixies View Post
        She usually takes three 2-hour naps during the day
        According to my Dr. Sears book, babies that age usually need 12-14 hours of sleep a day. I wonder if the 6 hours of naps could be interfering with her nighttime sleep. Perhaps experimenting with shorter or fewer naps might change her nightime sleep.

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        • #5
          Good catch, Jessica. That does seem like a lot of daytime sleep! I second the more sleep at night goal!

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          • #6
            Update

            Thanks so much for your input, understanding, and encouragement! I am so grateful to have found a place to talk to people who support (and will help me with) my choice to sleep with my baby and nurse her as she pleases!!!! What a HUGE relief to not be told to just stick her in a crib - in another room - with a bottle!

            Night before last, Parisa and I were able to get a few of hours of fairly solid sleep and today I got about an hour nap while she was napping. We both felt a lot better yesterday!! Last night was another exhausting night and my resources are depleted again...

            Her bedtime has typically been around 10-ish, but I read something that said babies need earlier bedtimes, so the last two nights I tried to get her down earlier and she went to bed around 8:45. The first night she slept fairly well until 3, and only nursed a few times. At 3 am she needed to pee, then she slept fitfully off and on, nursing a bunch until 8 am but never woke up fully (my definition of waking up fully is opening her eyes & looking around). This fitful sleep is how her sleep was the previous two nights and days and last night.

            I have wondered if she's getting too much sleep during the day, and I've tried to keep her awake when she seems sleepy so she has fewer naps, but it seems to only make her frustrated and those nights are much worse than when I allow her to nap when she's tired. I try to lay down with her when I can, or else be right there if she wants to nurse, which is frequently during daytime naps. If I don't lay down with her or nurse her when she stirs, her naps are shorter but more often. Any thoughts about this?

            Someone suggested teething pain and I wonder if that might be it. She does have a drool rash on her bottom. She hasn't really ever cried at night, so I wonder if her whimpering and tossing around in bed is due to teething. It seemed like she wants to nurse every 30 to 45 minutes, but she would just suck a little, then let go - not even enough for my milk to let down, so it seems like mostly comfort sucking. I really don't want to give her medication unless absolutely necessary but last night I gave her a tiny bit of tylenol at midnight. I'm not sure if it helped or not.

            Any other thoughts or suggestions would be great - you guys are so helpful!

            Thanks!!
            Last edited by desertpixies; 01-29-2009, 10:55 AM.

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            • #7
              I'm in the same boat

              I hope that you get some good feedback as I am a walking zombie as well!

              I am currently trying to rule out physical causes and am on an elimination diet, we have tried giving our son Infant Tylenol drops for possible teething pain and we've also tried different types of sleep clothing.

              I should mention that we didn't have this problem when I was getting up at night to feed him in the rocker. We have always co-slept but I just recently started nursing in bed. This is when the frequent waking started.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by desertpixies View Post

                Someone suggested teething pain and I wonder if that might be it. She does have a drool rash on her bottom. She hasn't really ever cried at night, so I wonder if her whimpering and tossing around in bed is due to teething. It seemed like she wants to nurse every 30 to 45 minutes, but she would just suck a little, then let go - not even enough for my milk to let down, so it seems like mostly comfort sucking. I really don't want to give her medication unless absolutely necessary but last night I gave her a tiny bit of tylenol at midnight. I'm not sure if it helped or not.

                Any other thoughts or suggestions would be great - you guys are so helpful!

                Thanks!!

                My LO has been restless and crying out in the night the past 3 nights too. I'm pretty sure it's from teething. He usually wakes every hour to hour and half to nurse but this crying out and crying in his sleep is new. He's so restless I'm not rested at all either.

                I don't give him conventional medicines but have been using Chamilia the last couple of nights for teething. It's a homeopathic remedy that was recommended to me by my naturopath. It comes in vials of 1 mL and you can give them up to 3 doses every 15 minutes. If my LO is awake and so restless in the middle of the night I will give him one dose and this helps calm him and I can put him back to sleep.

                the last 2 nights around 3 am I have given him a dose in his sleep because he was crying out every 15-20 minutes and thrashing around the bed. It helped calm him and he got about an hour and half of good sleep.
                It doesn't knock them out just calms them down and helps with the teething pain.

                Hope this helps!

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