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wakes at night every two hours - wants a nap every two hours

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  • wakes at night every two hours - wants a nap every two hours

    hi everyone... i'm new here... i read and read and read on this forum a couple months ago... i thought i got it all straight... and now... well... we are all loosing sleep...

    a little background... i have three older children from a previous marriage... boy 13, girl 11 girl 10... and now, i have a nine month old son with my new husband...

    i have always rocked to sleep at night and naps with babies, and would lay down with the children for naps till they grew out of them, and layed with them for bedtime for the longest time... i would even occasionally be asked by the oldest to lay with him at age eleven... all fine and dandy...

    with my oldest son we slept together until he started rolling... i was unaware of co-sleeping at the time... at six months i believe i did what every parenting book says to do... let them cry it out in the middle of the night... needless to say, this was not as easy as the book portrayed... i was opposed to it, but thought it was the only way... i don't even remember what i did with my girls for sleeping through the night, as all my kids were little right on top of each other, and there were other very stressful factors at play in my life... like my husband sending me back home to live with my mom so he could "whatever" when i was six months pregnant with our third child... anyway

    i didn't breastfeed past eight months with any of them... i rocked and sang them to sleep... whoever was the youngest got rocked while the others layed in their beds while i sang... then when the baby was asleep, i would take turns laying with the other two and would stroke their hair or whatever while i continued to sing...

    so now, being much older and wiser, and having internet access, i know better (i think)... lol... we have our bed on the floor... sleep with our little one... nurse to sleep for all three daytime naps as well as most evening bedtimes, rocking and singing as well... sometimes he does not get all tree naps, sometimes he does... i remember my first son would take three naps a day and gradually moved to two, then one... thats all fine and dandy...

    when we introduced more solids a couple months ago, our baby started to sleep longer, and one night slept a whole five hours, and another night slept a whole eight hours... yay!! no... teething interrupted all of that... he got eight teeth in a row without a break... much pain, much fussiness, much nighttime waking... it was in the middle of this mess that i did an online search and found this forum... i read and read... never posted as my questions were answered... we had some sleep issues also in relation to naps and such, as he seemed to always be overtired and was not getting enough sleep... i had been missing his window of opportunity' and bumped all naps and bedtime up... this worked well at the time even though it seemed he was sleeping way too much...

    well, he still sleeps 14 hours a day... although, none of it very deep with how often he wakes... every 2 - 2 1/2 hours he will wake up... two of these times is before i even make it to bed myself... he will go back to sleep with rocking for the early wake up, but wants to nurse for all the rest... then, during the day, he comes to me sleepy and wanting me to do something about it every 2 1/2 hours on the dot... not always is he quite ready for a nap (i learned this by trying to catch him with nap at the right time and him not going to sleep and ending up with his tummy so full of milks with false start naps that life was not so sweet anymore), so i distract him to keep him up at least 3 1/2 hours before i nurse him to sleep... needless to say, occasionally he will take an hour and a half nap, most of the time it is an hour on the dot, and many other times it is only half an hour... rarely only twenty minutes, and when this happens i try to get him to go back to sleep right away for the rest of his nap...

    so, he wants to go to bed at 6 pm.... we get him to sleep by 6:30 / 7 sometimes.... then he wakes around 9, and again at 11 and again at 3 and again at five or six, and then wants to stay up... exactly 2 1/2 hours later if he wakes up at the earlier time, he wants a nap, 3 hours later if he wakes at 6 or later... then i have tried to manage his naps keeping him to a three nap schedule of around 9:00, 12:00, and 3 when he takes shorter naps, and only a morning and afternoon nap when he takes longer naps...

    i am exasperated, not only by the constant night waking, but the fact that he seems to want to sleep so much during the day as well... not only do i not get enough restful sleep at night, but i cannot go anywhere because i never know how the naps are going to work out during the day... i am arguing and being mean to my husband because of the lack of sleep and am snapping at my older children as well...

    last night i was at my wits end when he woke up after only an hour and a half of sleep, i rocked him back to sleep, but apparently i did not rock him long enough and he fussed when i put him down... he fell asleep two different times and each time i attempted to put him down he phreaked.... my patience was all gone last night and my body was tired of rocking on the bed (i have been rocking him sitting cross legged on the bed, i don't have a decent rocker this time around)... so i just layed there with him, as sometimes he needs to roll around and grunt and groan a little before he gets comfortable enough to drop off... no, not this time... he cried and cried and crawled all over me pushing his little head on me, which is his way of saying, please rock me or nurse me, i cant do it... well, i couldnt do it and i just layed there and let this go on wondering if what i was doing was just as bad as leaving him alone in a crib to cry it out...

    i was trying to deal with feelings of frustration and impatience as well as guilt at the same time... why couldnt he sleep more than two hours at a time?!?!?! i got so frustrated with the crying at one point i left him on the bed and went into the living room, which is right on the other side of our bedroom door... he kept crying, then phreaked, came crawling after me in a tizzy, and as soon as he came out through the door looking for me my heart melted and i swooped him up and gave in to nursing him to sleep...

    this lack of sleep is impairing my judgement...
    i don't know how to get him to sleep longer than two and a half hours...
    i need some suggestions...
    i don't have any knowledgeable support from family or friends for AP

  • #2
    I wish I could be of more help, but all I can say - I hear you loud and clear on the sleep deprivation!! it makes you feel and act the way you would rather not. Can anyone help you? can your hubby, sibling anyone put him in a sling a try walking him to sleep? are you able to sleep when he does sleep?

    Some people have said the book; "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" really helped them. I've tried some of the things in there but my daughter is 17 mnths and never made it past 4 1/2 hrs sleep and that is about 1-2 times a month. I long and visualize her sleeping even 5 or 6 on a regular basis and feel my nights are a DISASTER - I am considering night weaning...yesterday my husband walked her to sleep on her nap... but the night was every 2 - 21/2 hr waking. So... at a total loss!! of what to do to help her be less restless and meet her needs as well as mine. This seems where you are too. You are doing what you can - this is so hard some days.

    Please keep seeking support. I know so well the guilt and conflicting emotions of feeling overwhelmed, very tired and very demanded of.... Best of Luck!

    Anyone with any help/tips - anything, please let me know. THANKS


    • #3
      Hi PsyMom,
      I understand your frustration! I wish I could give you a hug!

      Please comment on your feelings about thease possiblities-

      Food allergies?
      Growth spurts?
      Household chemical sensitivities?
      Trading 'duty' with you at night so you are coming from a better place!
      Having a VERY active day to limit daytime napping.

      My intial feeling is that your child is just OFF a routine. He is so used to sleeping a certain time of day and waking other time, his body just expects it. I would love it if you wrote a list about his day (woke this time, ate this, fell asleep at this time in the car etc) Maybe you would feel more 'in control' and have better tools to approach this if you had it all written down. I have done this before when my children were in an odd sleeping place and I was trying to find the easiest way to adjust sleeping stuff. Try it a few days and add foods if you think diet might be a factor. If you can notice any patterns and report back here.
      Thinking of you!

      And where are you located? I bet we can find you a few APish folk!


      • #4
        Just wanted to say we are in the same boat. My little girl, now 7mnths, also rarely sleeps longer than 2.5h at night at a time and naps are also short.

        I think the worst thing about the interrupted and poor quality sleep is the fact that you feel tired ALL the time, even after I have managed to sleep in on weekends when Daddy takes her early morning to give me a break. I sometimes get to catch up with 3 hours' sleep and STILL feel exhausted just a short while later. What gets me is that when I feel like this, I cannot be the best mommy the next day, I really feel your pain.

        Will keep following this post to see if any other suggestions/ tips come up.

        I found this link on the Natural Child Project site, worth looking into although I must admit I tried it and so far it hasn't worked for us, perhaps I'm doing it wrong:



        • #5
          Sorry I can't offer any solutions but just wanted to say I'm also in the boat with you guys. It's VERY hard.

          I try to just keep reminding myself how fast my baby is growing and that one day I'll miss this. I know it's little consolation those nights when we are at the end of our ropes but what else can we do...?

          I think it also helps to be reminded that we chose to go down this road for a reason and not let our babies cry it out because we truly believe that this is for the best and that in the long run this time of "sacrifice" will be rewarding for both our children and ourselves.

          We are good mommies trying to do our best. And seriously, if anyone has found a way to reduce night wakings, PLEASE, let us know. I wonder if there is an average age where they just gradually grow out of it?


          • #6
            My son nursed every other hour the first two years of his life. At night he got on and stayed on. I was lucky I have my Grandmother who has so much experience with breastfeeding. She told me how her one son did the same thing and that sometimes when you are tense, they will nurse even more.
            We talked about the feeling behind it and I wondered if babies think that because breastfeeding nurtures them, maybe by nursing they are helping us feel better?

            I have posted this in the past, but it never hurts to tell someone again.

            A couple of years ago my uncle passed away in an accident. The one that nursed all night. The one thing my grandmother can remember the most was his nursing all night. Sometimes at night she says she can feel her children still in bed with her. (She is alone, her husband passed as well) When she reminded me of that it made me more comfortable with Ronnie's all night nursing and I was able to relax. Of course hubby got me an Ipod when Ronnie was born so I could listen to music, audio books or watch programs on it if I was going to be in a long session. That really really helped.

            I don't know if they ever outgrow it. I think mine more learned to either go back to sleep or entertain themselves quietly next to me. The more a child is reassured that you are there for them, the more they are able to entertain themselves as they are not always having to pounce on you begging for attention. (Day or Night)

            Even as adults some people sleep through the night and some don't.

            Maybe we can start doing posts that who advantages to night wakers... I have two. They both woke up every few hours and as they got bigger went right back to sleep, but many times would get up go pee and then go back to sleep. My other, slept like a rock. Lots of night time accidents.

            I know this is crazy but I miss my little man waking at night. He still nurses to sleep and sometimes when we first get up, but I see that it is all coming to an end.


            • #7
              I wish I was writing to say that I had some answers for sleep issues, mostly because if I was, I would be peacefully sleeping at night instead of frequently comforting/nursing my 1 YO! Just wanted to say that I understand the frustration of frequent night waking; I too have been dealing with it for a year, and there have been many times when I felt that I just couldn't take it any more. It was especially difficult for me because many people around me made me feel as though it was somehow my husband and I's fault that our DS didn't sleep the way babies are 'supposed' to. This led to my husband insisting that we try CIO, and me really resenting him for forcing me to do it. It didn't work, we are still dealing with night waking every 2-3 hrs mths later, and I still feel guilty for putting my DS through that. I guess I just wanted to write to say that I know what you're going through, and to hang in there. It really is so hard sometimes, especially when it feels like your whole life revolves around your baby's sleep. I try to keep in mind that there are many many things that are going to be very difficult to handle as I raise my son, and that a inconsistent sleep pattern is probably the least of my worries, but this doesn't prevent me from feeling so fed up some days that I could scream.

              I think it is very important that people share their stories of infant sleep (or lack therof), because I think there is a real myth out there about how (and where!) babies should sleep that leads to many parents feeling inadequate when their child doesn't fit that mold. The more I speak to other parents, the more I realize that perhaps these commonly held infant sleep ideals just aren't realistic, and that those wonderful 'sleep through the night' babies are more of the exception rather than the rule.