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Old 05-26-2010, 01:07 AM   #1
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Serious sleep issues and EC...help me PLEASE!

Warning, this is long!

We have done Elimination Communication with DS since he was 3 months old, and he took to it like he was born potty trained, we have had a few rough patches but mostly it has been great.

However, now putting him to bed has become an exhaustive chore that takes at least an hour, then 1/2 hour again several times during the night. I think a lot of it is due to waking either because his bladder is full or his diaper is wet. We co-sleep, but I usually put him to bed before I go to bed.

After his last meal of the day (or when he is acting tired), I take him and brush his teeth while brushing mine and get ready for bed, then I read him a bedtime story. We do this most nights, unless he falls asleep on the way home from somewhere. Then we progress to the sleep routine:
  1. Side lying nursing (on rare occasions he actually falls asleep during this step. If he does, skip straight to #7)
  2. He starts to get restless, rolling back and forth. I take this to mean potty, but if I put him on he won't go.
  3. Take him off the potty and put diaper back on, he starts crying
  4. Rock him in 18 different positions because he is so tall and awkward for me to hold, and he fusses if he isn't comfortable
  5. If that doesn't work, try nursing again, this time in cradle position
  6. He FINALLY falls asleep
  7. 5-10 minutes later, he starts fussing in the other room
  8. Check diaper, if it is still dry I usually lay there for a bit to see if he'll either wake up enough to pee or I will open his diaper and cue to try to get him to go. Getting him to pee lying down NEVER works, I think he is too smart for that and knows the cue only counts when he is on a potty.
  9. Put him on the potty, he starts crying because he doesn't want to wake up. After ~30 seconds of fussing he generally goes. If not, replace diaper and repeat steps 4-9.
  10. If he does finally go, I can usually lie next to him and get him to sleep. He is VERY restless while trying to get to sleep, doesn't seem to be able to get comfortable unless he has something pressed up against his face (my breast, a pillow, the bed, etc.), which obviously isn't safe.
  11. 3-ish hours later, repeat the entire process (unless of course he randomly wakes up before then, which happens fairly often).

Someone please help me out here! I need some suggestions on other things to try, ways to change up my routine, anything to get a little more rest! Well, anything but CIO, I just can't bring myself to do it and it would stress me out to even try, so that would defeat the entire purpose.

He does take a pacifier, but if he wants to nurse the pacifier will NOT soothe him. I do think that if I night weaned, he would stay dry through the night and this might not be as much of a problem, but isn't 8 months pretty young to try to night wean?

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Old 05-26-2010, 03:03 AM   #2
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Re: Serious sleep issues and EC...help me PLEASE!

I'm not sure if I have any advice but so sorry this is happening! If I think of something I will let you know.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:15 AM   #3
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Re: Serious sleep issues and EC...help me PLEASE!

oh sleep issues! so sorry mama!! I don't have much advice - tho if I could somehow understand what my DH does, then I could help you. I have a terrible time getting DD to sleep - he can do it in minutes.

One thing that came to mind - can you try nursing him while pottying him?? That helped DD with the "not wanting to wake up" stuff. It let her keep "sleeping" while she peed. two birds with one stone, kinda

Or, can your DH try? I really really think part of DH's success is that he doesn't have the mommy milk option.

GL. and if I think of anything else I'll let you know! (I wouldn't night wean yet, but that's just me)
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:41 AM   #4
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Re: Serious sleep issues and EC...help me PLEASE!

Mama I'm going threw the same thing with my 9 month old son. He gets restless while sleeping and we do EC as well. Most nights hes okay though..but its rough. Hang in there. I have no advice.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:02 AM   #5
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Re: Serious sleep issues and EC...help me PLEASE!

Just to let you know that my DS is just two days older then yours and also EC'ed. We are going through a similar thing here.

I think the rolling and restlessness is just a fight with sleep. We have been dealing with this on and off lately. Unless DS is passed out before lying him down or nearly there, lately he starts nursing and then starts to scout all around the crib (side-cared) and barrel rolling. I let him do a little then scout him back to me and try to nurse him again. Sometimes it takes a few times to get him back on my breast, but once he does he tends to finally after a little bit give in to sleep.

I think at this age they want the extra comfort to sleep, because sleep needs to be extra tempting since the waking world is too exciting to let go of. With all the changes and growing going on the waking world is so exciting.

My suggestion is try nursing which is more likely to keep him asleep, then pottying that is sure to wake him up. Also make sure he has napped well during the day, I find the more tired DS is the tougher he can be to get to sleep some days. GL!
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:53 PM   #6
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Re: Serious sleep issues and EC...help me PLEASE!

Thanks ladies, I will definitely try nursing him on the potty. We have done it a few times before he started having all this sleep trouble, but it didn't always work.

Naps are definitely part of the problem, he can be insanely hard to get to nap. He is one of those kids that gets more and more hyper the more tired he gets, and I'm very close to being convinced he needs less sleep than the average kid his age.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:11 PM   #7
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Re: Serious sleep issues and EC...help me PLEASE!

I have an EC'd 9 month old who does the rolling/squirming thing too, I think that's just fighting sleep. We have one major difference though, I refuse to EC at night. My LO has actually been dry overnight since somewhere around 6 months (10pm to abt 7-8am) but this I think is as much due to a genetic tendency for extreme bladder control as anything, we cosleep and nurse at night as he wants. Good luck.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:57 PM   #8
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Re: Serious sleep issues and EC...help me PLEASE!

Oh for crying out loud...Tonight instead of trying to rock him to sleep when he was rolling, I just kind of sat back and let him figure it out. Well, he went RIGHT TO SLEEP. Out within 60 seconds. I've done that before and it never worked, maybe he just suddenly decided he is sleep independent?

Oh well, not going to knock it if it means I get some sleep tonight!
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:36 PM   #9
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Re: Serious sleep issues and EC...help me PLEASE!

WOOOOOOOOOO!!! My fingers are crossed for you that this becomes his new method of going to sleep
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:43 PM   #10
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Re: Serious sleep issues and EC...help me PLEASE!

This seems like a better solution to me than trying to rock him. I think you said that you cosleep, so perhaps just lying next to him, but not touching him (unless he's curled against you) will help.

I know it has always taken my son a long time to settle down. From the time he was tiny he could easily lie in bed awake for an hour before falling asleep. I just let him do his thing and eventually he settles down and falls asleep.

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Originally Posted by OperaDiva View Post
Oh for crying out loud...Tonight instead of trying to rock him to sleep when he was rolling, I just kind of sat back and let him figure it out. Well, he went RIGHT TO SLEEP. Out within 60 seconds. I've done that before and it never worked, maybe he just suddenly decided he is sleep independent?

Oh well, not going to knock it if it means I get some sleep tonight!
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