eK-3zmjBImBHOZjRJYEZVBw4ZWs Shaky Mommy: In Need of Sleep

Thursday, December 1, 2011

In Need of Sleep

Jaxon started off as a fairly good sleeper. He slept when I slept, and woke to nurse on what could be considered a fairly average basis. He slept late on the days we slept late, and he took good naps. When he got a little older, his naps faded into a more irregular pattern. But it was okay, because he still did well at night. But a few months ago, his sleeping habits changed, and now we're just exhausted. 

He wakes multiple times per night. He will nurse himself back to sleep fairly quickly, but he wakes so often that it seems like he nurses all night long. While he falls back asleep easily, we sometimes do not. Our sleep is so interrupted that I sometimes get up in the morning feeling like I have only had a couple of hours of rest. This would make anyone crazy, but it seems to be especially bad for me. My body responds negatively to a lack of sleep. I have more pain and my symptoms are more pronounced when I don't get adequate rest. 

We need Jaxon to sleep through the night. But I can't handle letting him cry it out (and though my husband talks big, I know he couldn't let him cry it out either). So I was Googling, looking for possible solutions and found The No Cry Sleep Solution, by Elizabeth Pantley, and my amazing husband promptly ordered it for me. It came today (gotta love Amazon) and I'm halfway through reading it. 

One of the first things the book has you do is keep track of your baby's sleep/wake patterns. I'm not far enough along yet to tell you what the point of this is, but here's our patterns so far. It's 10:05 as I write this, and this has been Jaxon's day.

8:13   Awake for the day
12:20-1:00  nap in van as we drove to the skating rink
3:15-4:00  nap in van as we drove home from the skating rink.

Two short naps, totaling about 1 1/2 hours. That's all.  
Now for nighttime...

8:18 nursed  
8:29 asleep
9:07 awake, screaming & sitting up in bed
9:31 back asleep after nursing

So now I'm going to try to finish reading the book before he wakes up. Have you used The No Cry Sleep Solution with your baby? Did you have good results? Any tips for getting a 9 month old to sleep through the night? 

Updated---here's how the rest of our night ended up

11:17 awake
In between these two times was a cycle of nursing and falling asleep only to wake 2-3 minutes later to nurse again
12:07 asleep
For each of the next times, I noted his waking, but I don't know what time he fell back asleep, because he immediately went to nursing and once he was latched on, I was asleep again. That is the good thing about co-sleeping, I guess.
1:15 awake
3:34 awake
411 awake
441 awake
617 awake
727 awake for day


  1. I. Am. So. Sorry. And I feel for you. I think it may be a case where he needs to get no naps during the day for a couple days till he's sleeping better at night, but it's hardddddd to say whether that would fix it (or be worth the torture of dealing with a crabby infant, lol). Maybe shorter naps? I have this same problem with Isaac. He wakes me up a lot less than that during the night, though. Could it be teething? Because every once in awhile there are nights where Isaac won't let me put him back in his playard to sleep, he sleeps on me but wakes up and starts screaming as soon as I put him down. I think those are the nights when he doesn't feel well and wants me. Because then the next night he'll be fine and go right to sleep after I feed him and stay asleep. He does still get me up three times in a night to nurse, though. And he seems to be too busy to nurse much during the day. This is just a hard stage, I think.

    But I totally know how you feel about not wanting to let him cry it out - it's too hard for me, too. I mean, we don't know if they're in pain and need to be held or WHAT.

    I wish I could help you out during the day so you could get some extra sleep, I know how hard that is especially when you're in chronic pain. :( I get so grumpy when I don't get enough sleep.

    Praying you guys get into a smoother routine soon!

  2. First, you are so sweet! Thankfully, I have a great husband who lets me get naps sometimes, but even with his help naps are hard to do because of the three older kids. And I wish I could shorten Jaxon's naps during the day to allow for more sleep at night, but I'm lucky if he takes one good nap a day (and by good nap, I mean 1 1/2 -2 hours). That's usually in the morning. He only takes an afternoon nap occasionally and usually that's only when we are in the car!

    I think there is probably some teething stuff going on...he still only has 1 tooth! I was sure the second one would have popped up by now, but nope! I give him Hyland's tablets, but usually only at night right before bed. He LOVES them, my husband calls them "baby crack" because Jaxon gets so ridiculously excited about them.

    I'm sorry that Isaac is still getting you up so often to nurse, though I have to confess, I'm glad to know I'm not alone! I definitely think that Jaxon doesn't eat enough during the day and I think at least 2 of his night feedings are for actual nourishment. I have the same problem that you have with Isaac- he's just too busy to nurse much during the day. I have tried to replace some of those lost calories with baby food, but I don't think he's taking in enough to replace the lost feedings. But, most of Jaxon's middle of the night feedings are very short and seem to be purely for comfort, so he's definitely waking for some other reasons, too. I am really ready for him to start sleeping better! Thanks for the prayers!

  3. Those ARE really tiny naps so I really don't think those are the issue. My son is now 3 and was always a horrible sleeper!! He would wake up multiple times a night too up til he was 1 1/2! You mentioned the CIO method, and, while I never read the book, I did do a modified version at one point that really helped for a while until he got sick (which totally threw him off again and we went back to co-sleeping....and sleep was slightly better for all).

    It sounds like he might need to learn to soothe himself back to sleep on those times he really doesn't need to eat? Maybe? Here's what I did with my son, maybe it will help you! Basically I'd put my son in his crib and sit in a chair next to him. We could touch each other and I could talk to him but couldn't pick him up no matter how much he cried. Because I was right there, the detachment was slow for him and not this instant abandonment feeling for him. After a few nights, just sit there and don't talk or touch. After a few more nights, slowly move the chair towards the door each night. Eventually, you are out of the room, there's no crying, and he's figured out how to go to sleep without the mommy pacifier! It's good for them, good for you, and easier than some methods I've heard of.

    Hopefully the book will really help you and lots of other moms will chime in too!! :)

  4. I agree- I don't think his naps are the issue. In fact, I'm reading in the book that he actually should take better naps and that it will improve his nighttime sleeping to do that! But it's very hard with three older kids in the house.

    We may have to try a method like what you suggested, eventually, though I'd rather wait til he's a little older (and maybe understands a little better). I read in the book that one way to do something like this is to let Daddy be the one to comfort the baby when he wakes. The baby doesn't expect daddy to nurse him and is therefore just comforted by his presence. Thanks for commenting!

    P.S. Sorry for the delayed reply - I've been sick and feeling yucky.