Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Southern Oregon
Re: Sleeping Issues - is this normal?
Well I feel for you. I could have written that same post, minus the well-sleeping ODD and the hair holding. DS is 18 months in a few days, and still wakes up quite a bit at night. A couple of months ago I pretty much had a breakdown and freaked out about the whole thing....not having slept more than 2-3 hours in 16 months, annoyed at him for having to nurse so much, basically totally resentful. I decided that I couldn't do it anymore and was going to night wean. I followed Dr Jay Gordon's plan here. We don't have a family bed, but I do sleep a lot of the night with DS in his bed. Well, it didn't really work. DS continued to wake up and just cry for 10 minutes or so, then he would be up and awake by 5 or 5:30am. Not good, resulted in even less sleep for me. Then DH figured we could try having him go in with DS rather than me. We started having DH put him to bed after a very solid bedtime routine. Bath, jammies, book, then nurse on the couch. At that point, DH would take him and put him to bed. Not without crying but he seemed to sleep for a longer period of time when he didn't nurse to sleep. We did that for a couple of weeks, with DH going in each time DS woke up, and I guess he ended up sleeping in there too. The thing is, DS still woke up at his usual times (11, 2, 4-5, 7) but just cried back to sleep. This didn't help me get more sleep because I could hear DS crying so I would lie in bed and listen and be sad about it. I started going in and taking over around 4 or 5, just to hopefully get DS to sleep a couple more hours. I couldn't shake the feeling that he was hungry and that's why he couldn't sleep. I assumed that after a week or so of not getting what he wanted at night, he would stop waking up, at least that's what sounded logical. But nothing changed. In fact, it seemed like he started waking up more. Then when I was in with him, he was almost frantic and wiggly and scratchy and couldn't settle because either he was so happy I was there OR so afraid I would leave. He did seem to sleep a slightly longer stretch during that time...I think the 2ish wake up disappeared for a little while. (sorry this is getting so long)
Sometime last week though I just felt like it wasn't working and why are we still doing this? I just decided to go ahead and nurse him at night. The morning after that decision, the essay by Katherine Dettweyler (here) showed up in my inbox. It reaffirmed what I had been thinking. So now we are just nursing at night, and sometimes naturally DS will sleep a longer stretch. Last night it was 11 to 4, which is pretty much a record for him.
I don't know if this helps you at all, and sorry for the book, but it's just my story. I figure he will grow out of it sometime....that said, I think every kid is different, and Jay Gordon't method may really work for some kids too.
Rachel, SAHM to a 9yo teenager
, a 4yo charmer
, and a toddling koala bear
, and wife to my hard-working hubs. Mostly AP, co-sleeping (with all 3!), BFing, quite crunchy, thrifty, curly-haired mama. Loving my life.