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Old 04-08-2009, 12:40 PM   #21
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Re: I don't know what to do. I let him cry :(

This sounds so much like my DD. It is tough I know. She finally started to sleep thought the night at about 6-7mos. And your napping and feeding schedule sounds a lot like ours.

I look back at before she was sleeping though the night and this is what I think was the problem.

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Originally Posted by tummy mommy View Post
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I think he needs to learn to fall asleep without nursing.
The only way we could get DD to fall asleep was nursing. She did not know how to sooth herself; she will/would not take a pacifier and she didn't really know how to suck her thumb. But we needed to so something! I was like you, just so frustrated because of the lack of sleep I was getting. This is what we did.

1. We got her on a more regular eating/napping schedule (like the one you have now, before this hers was whenever/where ever)

2. DH was the one to put her to bed. After I give her her bath and read a book to her DH takes her to her room, turns on the night light and her teddy (sings, nature noises, she really likes the wave setting... it makes me fall asleep also ) He then just rockers her to sleep while walking around the room either singing or humming songs to her (her favorite song to sleep to is The ants go marching.) After she is out, he waits about 5-10 min just to be sure before he would put her down in the crib. Then he would move out of sight. If she fussed, he would wait 2-3 min before he picked her up again and repeated rocking/walking/singing with her. After about 3 nights she started sleeping most of the night, she found her thumb to suck on and she puts herself on her tummy to sleep.

3. When she would get up in the middle of the night, either DH or I would try to get her back to sleep first. If it was pretty obvious she was not going back to bed, I would nurser her, in her room, and make her stay awake to nurse. If it looked like she was falling asleep, nursing was over and back to rocking/singing to get her back in bed.

Having DH be the one to put her to bed helped. As she learned not to associate sleeping/nursing with me. She also learned to sooth herself. And we had little crying. But it didn't happen over night, it took a good 2 weeks before she finally would fall asleep without fussing and it didn't take her 45min to an hour! Now she sleeps 10pm to 10am, she falls asleep in about 10 min of rocking and singing and either DH or I can put her to bed. (She has chanced her schedule in the past week though, she gets up at 8 now instead of 10, but I can handle that no problem! )

Sorry this was long, but I hope some of it will help you. Good luck mama

I should also add that once we started getting better sleeping results at night, her naps went from 15-30min to an hour/hour and a half and she then in turn slept better at night. Crazy little cycle

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Old 04-08-2009, 12:44 PM   #22
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Re: I don't know what to do. I let him cry :(

I'd really try to push for an earlier bedtime. At that age, my DD was taking 2-3 naps (about an hour each), went to bed by 8, and slept for about 12 hours with 1-2 occasional wakings at night. I know it's hard, mama, but you'll slowly figure it out. And don't feel bad about leaving him in his crib sometimes! Is there anyone else that can ever come over during the day to help out?
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:03 PM   #23
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Re: I don't know what to do. I let him cry :(


I'm voting overtired and growth spurt.

I also highly recommend napping with him during the day to help get him sleeping again. Nurse him to sleep in your bed. When he wakes 30 minutes later, nurse him right back to sleep. Aim for a minimum of 3 hours of combined naptime. It can be in 2 or even 3 naps, but aim for that minimum of 3 hours. Bed time can be as early as 7 and you can either go to bed with him or hold him in the famiy room while you and DH watch TV or play video games or read or whatever.
Once you get past the growth spurt and he gets back on track as far as sleeping enough, then you can put him down and go on with your life again. In the meantime, you BOTH are starving for sleep so get as much as you both can.
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:25 PM   #24
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Re: I don't know what to do. I let him cry :(

i think our kiddos are neck and neck for trying to drive us crazy with this sleep stuff!

dd is doing ok today, but who knows what tonight and tomorrow will bring. i'm hoping that everything going on right now is mostly attributed to going from the newborn sleeping all the time mode to being awake more and learning new tricks (rolling over, growing teeth, etc) and hopefully once it all settles down a bit they will start sleeping better.

one thing i have worked on is using different techniques to get dd to sleep...at first i had a one track mind and thought 'ok pick a way and we'll do that every single time she's tired' but that didn't work. my ds was a boobie baby through and through, there was no other way to get him to sleep and no other way to soothe him when he woke in the night...i guess some mamas can do it, but it was really hard on me (i'm a beast when i'm exhausted ) so i'm trying to change some things with dd so we don't end up in that rut again. the thing i do most with dd is lay her down when she starts getting sleepy after a little naptime routine (ours is a diaper change, then i hold her and sing 'hush little baby', then lay her down and give her the soothie and pat her back for a minute to help her settle in bed) sometimes she lays there for a little while making noises, sometimes she pops up on her hands and knees, and sometimes she gets really frustrated and cries but every time i give her a kiss and tell her sweet dreams and leave the room. if she's just making cooing noises or chewing on her bink i just let her lay in there and relax, but if she starts crying i give her five minutes then go in and pop the pacifier back in and if she's upset i pat her back a little to settle her then leave again. if she's really overtired and i can tell i'll stay there and pat her back until her eyes are REALLY heavy and then i'll just sit there with my hand on her back until she's out. if she goes all spastic and won't lay down or take the pacifier then i leave her for five minutes and come back and try again. the five minutes gives her a chance to throw her temper tantrum and it gives me a chance to catch my breath before going back in there. it tends to work for the most part and that's what i do if she doesn't nurse to sleep.

i definitely agree with the pp that he might be needing a little more sleep during the day...dd still tends to take the wonderful 30-45 minute naps so she ends up napping more frequently every few hours instead of in a couple big chunks (hopefully she'll start doing that in a few more months though, i'd really appreciate it!)

anyway, sorry this turned into a novel but i just wanted to say don't beat yourself up and definitely don't feel like you're alone in your frustration
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:48 PM   #25
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Re: I don't know what to do. I let him cry :(

He's not getting enough daytime or nighttime sleep in my opinion mama. What happens at night just is more of the same of what happens during the day. Long sleep patterns at night follow naturally if the LO is used to long sleep patterns during the day. Falling asleep and staying asleep without nursing happens at night once it is mastered during the day.

Yes, every baby is different, however, there is a general pattern we have discovered between us BFF moms IRL who together have 35 children and babies and it works magic for every single one. Not sure you're willing but here's what we do:
At 6 months, our babies would look like this:
7 - get up and nurse
9 - nap
11 - get up from nap, nurse, play, etc...
1 - nap
3 - Get up from nap, nurse, play, etc...
5 - Catnap
530-545 - get up, nurse if necessary
7 - nurse and get ready for bed
8 - bedtime
10-11 - wake and nurse, lay them back down

You have an exhausted baby that's so tired he cannot sleep and just when he drifts into deeper sleep you awaken him and he will be ornery. Depriving babies of restful, restorative sleep during the day just makes nighttime impossible in my opinion. Your baby is 6 months old; he doesn't know what is best for him in terms of food or sleep or anything else for that matter. I wouldn't leave his schedule to his own devices; can he decide what is best for him in any other area of life yet?
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:50 PM   #26
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Re: I don't know what to do. I let him cry :(

Sounds like he wants to suck on something in the middle of the night...try a paci! He's a well established nurser, so it's not going to harm his latch.

ETA: My DD is also 6 mths old! She sleeps 3-4 hrs in the afternoon..gets up around 4. I don't let her go back to sleep until 7pm. Schedules are good for babies! All my kids go to bed at 7pm!

IMO, I don't think nursing him to sleep is what you need to be doing! That seems to be your problem...he wants to nurse to fall asleep! So when he wakes up in the middle of the night, even if he isn't hungry he wants to suck on you! That wakes you up! Your needs first, sweetie...if you can't function b/c of lack of sleep, everyone will suffer...

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Old 04-08-2009, 02:56 PM   #27
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Re: I don't know what to do. I let him cry :(

Now that I have 3 kids, 2 of which are under 3, my mantra is "Put your own air mask on first." I never believe in that and was a martyr when I just had dd, but now I realize the wisdom in those words.
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:19 PM   #28
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Re: I don't know what to do. I let him cry :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcpforever View Post

I'm voting overtired and growth spurt.

I also highly recommend napping with him during the day to help get him sleeping again. Nurse him to sleep in your bed. When he wakes 30 minutes later, nurse him right back to sleep. Aim for a minimum of 3 hours of combined naptime. It can be in 2 or even 3 naps, but aim for that minimum of 3 hours. Bed time can be as early as 7 and you can either go to bed with him or hold him in the famiy room while you and DH watch TV or play video games or read or whatever.
Once you get past the growth spurt and he gets back on track as far as sleeping enough, then you can put him down and go on with your life again. In the meantime, you BOTH are starving for sleep so get as much as you both can.

My ds will nap for 2+ hours if I lay down with him--and I get a nice nap as well! Also, nap nursing is very good for your supply. Hang in there, my ds has been waking up a lot more often as well.
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:32 PM   #29
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Re: I don't know what to do. I let him cry :(

I would recommend buying the no cry sleep solution by elizabeth pantly. It was a LIFE SAVER for me! If you google her name, her website will come up and she even has some "free" tips on her site. But seriously, I went through that same thing with DS and let him cry once and never again. That book really did make everything better!
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:50 PM   #30
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Re: I don't know what to do. I let him cry :(

my favourite sleep book is "healthy sleep habits, happy child". It says basically that the MORE sleep you baby gets, the better, longer, more soundly your baby will sleep. It absolutely works.

At 6 months this was our schedule (roughly)

8am - wake up, breakfast, bath, play
10am- nap after a nursing session in his OWN CRIB for at least 2 hours
12pm- lunch, nurse, play
2pm- nap (I usually napped with him for this one, he was in bed with me and nursed through it) for AT LEAST 3 hours.
5pm- supper, play with daddy
7pm- bed after a nursing session in his OWN CRIB.

He usually woke up to nurse around midnight, maybe at 2:30 and then not again until 8.

If he was awake for 6-7 hours out of the day, that was PLENTY! Some days he didn't sleep during a nap, just rested, and that's ok, but it wasn't play time.

Teething, growth spurts and out of town visits all messed up his schedule for a day or two, but I tried to get him back on track as quick as possible.

By the time he was 10 months he was sleeping through the night for 14+ hours.

I think your baby might need more sleep. Good luck mama, I know it's hard but you CAN do it and your baby doesn't have to cry for long periods to get it done. Letting him cry for a bit doesn't hurt him, and I think you did the right thing this time especially if you felt like you might hurt him if you didn't get a break. I've been there, I've felt that. Not a happy mommy feeling, but it does NOT make you a bad mommy. Promise!
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