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Need ideas on getting SOME sleep at night! Please help!

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Joined: 01 Apr 2010
Posts: 319
Location: WY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:41 pm    Post subject: Need ideas on getting SOME sleep at night! Please help! Reply with quote

So, I put off posting this question here as I'm sure it has been addressed somewhere, by someone, at sometime...but I did a search and couldn't find any answers...so here it is!

Baby girl started sleeping like 6-7hrs, nursing, then sleeping 4-5 more at 2 months. It lasted a glorious month!

Then she caught a cold at 3 mos and we were up every couple of hours for TLC.

That was 5 weeks ago... and we are STILL up every couple of hours. It's getting worse, not better! She had been sleeping 7p-12a, THEN up every 2-3hrs, but now she is only making it from 7-1030p and doing 2hr wakings consistently!

When she hollered at 6am after feeding/changing her last at 4:30a.. I gave her a binky she did not want, made sure she didn't have any other needs, and crawled back into my bed with earplugs in and a pillow over my head and let her wake up my older boys with her yelling instead. I finally got her out of bed at 7:20. She's still in the bouncer going 2 town. Ugh...

I am just a walking zombie, getting angry with my boys for little things, and I can't believe with #3 I have no idea how to fix this!? She knows day from night, has a great bedtime routine she easily recognizes, and sleep-nurses at night and returns immed to her crib with no problems (except that the sleep nursing is every 2hr!)

Right now, she is taking 2 good naps or 3 cat naps/day & she REALLY struggles to stay awake from 6-7p, so this is when we do bath, story, etc. She's up by 7/8 in the morning.

How in the world can I turn this around? She REALLY gets mad if I let her fuss it out for 5 min, and works herself into a face-scratching frenzy, so I don't really imagine she would b able to self soothe & get back to sleep by Ferber method (tho I'm willing to try anything!). And everytime I check on her & walk away, she gets ever madder!

At the same time, she is a big chubby girl who certainly does not need to eat every 2 hrs all night & day long...But tho sticking a boob in her mouth is a sure way to get her to go right back to sleep, I don't see it working in my favor in the long run...

Please help ladies! One of you has to have tried something that will work for us?!?! We both need more rest than we are getting!
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Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 234

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out Sleepyplanet.com and the book "The Sleepeasy Solution". They're by the same person and it saved my life with DS.
He never became a "great" sleeper, but it honestly saved my sanity. It has some similar techniquest to Ferber, but much kinder on the kids and parents...very empathetic. My guy would FREAK and not a "self soother" type and I swore off any "crying" techniques, but I learned to never say never. I was shocked when night 1 it only took 2 checks and a total of 15 minutes. Night 2 was 1 check and 5 minutes. Also helped with night wakings...though I'm not even sure how...and after night 2 there was no crying, if he woke, and didn't need anything (eat/wet diaper), I'd tell him, "Shh...nighty night time" and give him his bink (paci) and he's grunt and go back to sleep. To this day, if he wakes I can go in and tell him, "Shhh" and he goes back to sleep. He still wakes up a couple times a night sometimes at 2 yrs old, but it's SO much better than it was!Good luck!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How old is your daughter? I only have experience with bottle feeding, but I always found that when my kids had trouble sleeping they needed more to eat before bedtime. I would always put rice cereal in their bedtime bottle or give them a "meal" before bed of a bowl of rice cereal with baby fruit mixed in. That always helped to hold them over so they didn't wake up in the middle of the night.

I don't know what you could do if you are solely breastfeeding, though. Does she eat any solids yet?
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Joined: 01 Apr 2010
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Location: WY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No solids yet. Just turning 4 months. I try to feed her well just before bed, but it doesn't seem to matter. And, certainly we are doing the same things as we were when she was sleeping through the night, so I just can't figure out what?

I tried giving her a taste of cereal & she likes the flavor, but she still has such a tongue-thrust reflex, she's just not ready for it. Newer studies show that that reflex goes away when they gain the enzymes to digest the proteins in solids, so I guess my fear of mixing it into her bottle is that she will get a wicked belly ache from it since she most likely isn't able to digest it?! She does have reflux & sensitive belly... that could backfire ten-fold I'm afraid? And then the constipation... she already goes days between poos and that's on breastmilk alone!

This is the same reason I am afraid to give her a mixed bottle of breastmilk/formula at bedtime. Belly-upset.

I've done some looking online- and most sites say frequent wakings aren't due as much to hunger as they are to sleep cycles & inability to self-soothe?

She sucks her thumb, so I don't know why she can't just get herself back to sleep?

I will look into that website mommy2-2. I am not opposed to trying anything if it helps us all get some rest!

Thank you ladies- and keep the ideas coming!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe she's teething? Dd1's teeth started doing the up and down dance at 4 months and then cut her first two teeth at 5 months. She slept great through that time but all babes handle teething different.

Sorry to add some gloom here but unless your lil miss gets back to her old ways, you may have two more months of sleepiness ahead of you. 4 months is still quite young. While some common methods seem to work for some babies they don't work for all and they're typically not recommended anyways, 6 months is the magic age for many things. In general, before 6 months any form of sleep training isn't advised. Ferberizing aka extinction method causes high levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and affects on young infants can be physically and psychologically damaging. It is advised no solids until 6 months for many sound reasons. Adding rice cereal to a bottle is an old wives tale; there is no evidence that it results in them sleeping longer and it can potentially cause negative health affects such as respiratory issues from inhaling the particles and disrupting their self-regulating mechanism leading to a lifetime of overeating. The only time it is advised is for extreme reflux because then the benefit outweighs the risks.

Our expectations for sleep are typically beyond what the infants are ready for, only 50% of 5 month olds are consistently sleeping through the night.
You could try to cluster feed her before bed so that her tummy is fuller longer. Unless she doesn't wake for any, she still needs the night feedings for the next couple months.. If she sleeps great, if she's hungry don't deny it. When she does wake up through the night, try to keep it as dark as possible and then in the morning when her wakefulness is welcomed make sure it's bright; that will help her sleep-clock reset.

I'm a fan of co-sleeping now. It resulting in clingy children is a complete myth - what causes that is the day time over-attached parenting in my opinion. My kids are very independent and are great sleepers, have been since they were placed in their rooms. I've never had to lay with them in order for them to sleep - just tuck them in and tada! see them 12 hours later in the morning. DD1 was in the bassinet in our room up until 2 months old then she was moved to her crib and immediately began sleeping through the night. Suddenly at around 6 months she would be awake every 2-3 hours. We co-slept through that phase and she was back in her crib by 9 months. We co-slept with DD2 right from birth. I was very well rested when my second was a baby because I never had to deal with numerous wake ups. I'd typically change her bum once at around 1am and she'd latch herself on whenever she needed a feed or a comfort suckling throughout the night. When she was 11months old I was ready to have my side of the bed back for myself and she was ready for the crib - one night with less than 5 minutes of tears was all it took.

Your babe will sleep when she's ready but if you want to try to nudge her just do whatever you feel comfortable with...but be sure to do a bit of investigating the various ideas and methods. Thanks to research, gin isn't given to sleepless babies anymore...I bet it would work though ;)

This too shall pass, you'll get a full night's sleep eventually :)
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I probably am not one to give great advice, as my 1 yr old still wakes although I can offer lots of empathy and hugs! so sorry. I know exactly what you are going through. I found that all of mine who were sleeping pretty good at 4-5 mo. suddenly did this regression thing about that time when they began moving around during the day. I have also heard many people have a similar experience.

with my 1st we did CIO at 6 months. It took about a month, was very emotionally charged for all involved, and I decided I wasn't going to do that again....so with the boys, it has been a lot longer.

Personally, I feel for my kids it has a lot to do with breastfeeding and comfort. neither of the boys would take a paci, so they wake and want to be helped to fall back asleep. Also, I co-slept with them, and I think that reinforced the nightwakings and looking to me for comfort. This has become a cycle though b/c what I looked for in the beginning to help me get MORE sleep has/had maybe caused them to be waking more much later...I don't know.

so for me, the common denominator for getting the 1st 2 to sleep was night weaning. When we dropped that last feeding, both sleep 10+ hours right away. so, with the 1st it was a traumatic, let her cry her head off kind of thing, and with #2, I just waited till he naturally dropped down to 1 feeding and sent DH in to rock him to sleep. He sleep through the night all on his own. no tears. That was 13 months though. I know you don't want to hear that.

the thing that is keeping me sane now is I go to sleep at around 9:30, and my DH takes any wakings until he goes to sleep around 12. I go in after and try not to co-sleep and only feed once or twice hoping that soon when he drops down to one feed, we can do the same thing as we did with DS1.
I do nap most days though, and I know you work, so this may not be very helpful for you, or not possible for your DH, but it's been our answer for surviving.

In my experience starting solids, or when they reached a certain weight didn't make them sleep longer. Mine did better as newborns.

If you are looking for a gentle approach, this book is wonderful and an easy read for sleep-deprived people: the no cry sleep solution.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your responses!

Though I work about 2-3 days/wk, my difficulty in taking naps is that after spending most of the night half-awake nursing, I really hit the coffee pot hard and can't nap! I have considered this might be baby's problem, too...but again, I was doing it back when she was smaller at 2months and she slept like a dream..so I am doubting that. I cut myself off of caffeine by 1pm. I have never been good at naps...on the best days I nod off just as the baby wakes up...

As for the co-sleeping, we have tried this. I tried it last night. Hoped she would briefly wake, see me, and go back to sleep. It has worked before. Instead, she woke, started thumb sucking & fussing & then screaming. Every 2 hours! I am too light of a sleeper & every squeek wakes me up, so I sent her to her own crib/room at 2 mos (when she started sleeping GOOD...and so did I!).

I have seen the CIO method work... with the boys when they were a bit older. I don't have unrealistic expectations that she will sleep the night through...my boys took a full year or more to ever do that. I just want a nice 4 hour stretch every now and then to survive! And she used to do 6/7hrs, so I already know she CAN! That & the fact that she's way CHUBBY and doesn't need a round-the-clock snack bar! (:

DH used to try to help me at night...during the newborn phase...when he would let me go to bed at 8 & try to "dream feed" the baby with a bottle at 10/11 to buy me a decent nap. Never did work. He always said baby "wouldn't take any" when the crying started by midnight...so we gave it up.

I have been feeling for teeth & haven't found anything yet. She sure is a drool monster & chews on anything she can get to her mouth. She even gets the "teething rash" from thumb sucking sometimes. So...who knows?

I know the cereal thing isn't the answer for "filling her up", but I do suspect some reflux as a culprit for the bad belly and even night wakings, so I am hoping to get her on it soon enough to help keep the food where it belongs. My oldest double-fisted the stuff down w pure glee the moment he turned 4 mos. He was more than ready...took the spoon right out of my hand! The 2nd ds would've been fine to pass it up for the first 8 months... So, when she's ready we will go there, but not before.

I will look into your suggestions and see if any of it may help. Thanks again!

P.S. DH kept her up until almost 8p tonight while I worked 7-11p. It's midnight now, and she's still asleep- so maybe we broke the up-at-1030 routine? I sooo hope! And, I'm not waking her to feed before I go to bed. I don't want to train her to always wake at midnight, either.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well here the same. DD goes to bed around 8 p.m., sleeps till 11-12 p.m., and then she wakes up I think every hour..may be every 30 minutes..I have no idea. As soon as she wakes up teh first time, usually around midnight, I take her to our bed. I am not a fan of co-sleeping, actually I am even against it for several reasons (LOL), but we are co-sleeping. DS1 and DS2 had the same terrible sleep patron, so nothing is new here for me. I read all this books which were recomended above, nothing helped us. And yes, Anna is already easting solids, and she drinks formula before going to bed. So no, she is not hungry..So not much advice from me, the only advice is I kind of accepted the situation. All my children sleep badly until 1-2 years of age. it gets better afterwards.
And she is teething constantly since she was 5 months old I think :))
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