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Old 08-12-2012, 07:59 AM   #1
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AP Mamas - I have a sleep dilema

I've never posted about a parenting issue here, but I really need some advise other than "let her cry it out" so here goes.

YDD just turned 1. I had terrible insomnia while I was pregnant and she is a horrible sleeper. She was waking ever 45 minutes until I kicked her out of my bed about 3 months ago. She now wakes up to nurse anywhere from 3 to 6 times per night. I haven't had more than 4 solid hours of sleep in almost 2 years.

This whole time I have been telling myself that it will be over soon and that I just need to get through this phase, she's only little for so long, etc.

I'm realizing now that she's not going to be done soon. She eats almost nothing, won't take a bottle and is too distracted to nurse much during the day. When she wakes at night, she's probably hungry.

My big problem is that I NEED sleep. I am an angry and stupid person when I don't have enough. I am a bad mother, a bad wife and a bad friend. This has been going on for 2 years now. I am falling apart and I want my old self back. I want to enjoy my kids, I want to have energy and I want to be able to engage in an adult conversation.

Which is more important, meeting my baby's nighttime needs or meeting the daytime needs of my whole family (I have 2 older kids)? How do I balance this? Can I night wean without CIO? My other 2 just started STTN on their own well before 1, so I have no idea how to do this.

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Old 08-12-2012, 08:34 AM   #2
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There are ways to night wean w/o CIO. Try posting on the breastfeeding board - someone there should know for sure but I think its the Newman method...one of those pro BF- doctors

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Old 08-12-2012, 08:43 AM   #3
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Re: AP Mamas - I have a sleep dilema

mama. I posted a thread very similar to this one not long ago... my DS3 just turned 12 months, and was waking every 1.5-2 hours at night. The best advice I got was to night wean ASAP. You can do that without letting her CIO. Following the advice given to me by my LLL leaders and mamas on here, my DS goes into DS3's room at each waking after 11:30pm... he will rock and cuddle DS3 until he falls back asleep. It's been a long process, but we're making progress. He is now sleeping 7pm-5am most nights (waking to eat only at 10-11pm). Some nights he will still wake up 1-2 times, but DH goes in and gets him back to sleep. I'm hoping that in the next few weeks, we will eliminate those wakings as well.

I originally intended on letting DS3 night wean himself, at his own pace, but I'm pregnant and have two other children that need a calm, happy mama... sleep deprivation does not make me calm or happy .

ETA - how often does she nurse during the day, and is she eating any solids? DS3 just started eating more solids (up to 3 meals/day now), and does a ton of what I call "drive-by" nursing sessions (nursing for 3-5 minutes, every hour or so). I make sure he nurses really well at his 5am wake-up (before the older two are awake), before naptime, and before bedtime. It also helps if I can nurse him in his room, while my 5 and 2.5 year olds watch a quick cartoon or something... less distractions that way.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:46 AM   #4
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You can night wean without CIO, but most likely not without crying. As long as you are there with her, rocking, patting, singing, etc it isn't CIO. CIO is when she's left alone. Can dad get involved in the night time routine?
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:56 AM   #5
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Is your LO walking yet? She was an awful sleeper and got worse the month before she started walking at 12 mos.

Hugs, Mama, sleep deprivation is the pits and I am mean and lazy when I am zombie like. I feel ya.

Try night weaning. Offer to nurse more during the day, take her into a quiet dark room so she can calm down.

Honestly, I don't think modified CIO is the worst. I let DD cry for about 10 minutes one night, due to me needing a break and the fact that she was screaming in my arms anyhow. She ended up falling asleep. It isn't something I use all the time but I find just putting her down and letting her figure it out is what she wants.

You can try having your DH soothe her during wake ups, too. Mine is only home 2-3 nights a week so that didn't work for us.

At 15 months old (today!), she still wakes 2-5 times in a 12 hr period. Last night she slept straight from 1030-545!!! Miracles do happen, sometimes
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:00 AM   #6
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Re: AP Mamas - I have a sleep dilema

Thanks mamas. I was thinking about trying to get DH to take her during the first part of the night. I'm just worried that he'll let her cry. He's one of the loudest proponents of CIO.

I guess I could just go pat her butt when she wakes but she gets SO worked up when I go in. She also won't let me hold her when she wakes at night. All she wants is the boob.

I'm also just really worried that she's not getting enough during the day. I offer a lot, both breast and solids, but she's just not that interested anymore.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:51 AM   #7
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Check out the No Cry Sleep Solution. I found some success with a modified Pantley method. It is gradual and gentle.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:05 PM   #8
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Re: AP Mamas - I have a sleep dilema

This is how I successfully nightweaned. Even though you aren't co-sleeping/bedsharing, you can take the basic concepts and apply them to your child as she is old enough for them. Understanding why your baby is crying, (anger at not getting what they want/expect as opposed to fear), and that they are capable of understanding made a huge difference in my ability to deal with the night weaning and the inevitable crying that goes along with it. I also think that babies that age are fully capable of understanding "not now" and "later." We just have to teach them, even if they get ticked off at us.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:13 PM   #9
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Re: AP Mamas - I have a sleep dilema

I agree, you can get her to sleep longer. I'm willing to bet that she is so upset when YOU go in because she KNOWS that you'll give her the boob if she demands hard enough. except that wearing a turtleneck bodysuit isn't exactly practical, it might be exactly what you need rock her, pat her, sing to her, do whatever you need to do but DON'T GIVE HER THE BOOB!! offer her a bottle of milk, or a cup, or a straw, or whatever she needs.

you can start slowly too, agree that she gets no boob before 3am. if she's STILL waking then, you can decide if you want to give in. Likely she won't still be waking, but it's something to get yourself through those moments of self doubt.

When dd was about this age I noticed a huge correlation between how much she nursed during the day and how much she woke at night. Changing your day time nursing routine may help too. Find a quiet spot that you can go and get 5 or 6 good nursing sessions in during the day and see if that helps, especially the one right before bed.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:56 PM   #10
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Re: AP Mamas - I have a sleep dilema

I like the idea of no boob for a seven hour stretch. I would be happy with 6 hours.

I can always sleep in her room or I can try to make DH sleep there. I tried sleeping in her room when I moved her out of my bed, but she sleeps so much better without me in the room. I can't bring her back to my bed because my older kids are in my room (long story). She was waking them throughout the night.

I'll have to run this all by DH.

Thanks again for all the suggestions. It's SO nice to know I'm not alone.
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