February 2013 Moms

UPDATED: STMs come in- advice for coping with no sleep!

I've posted a few topics recently about being in the midst of the dreaded 4 month sleep regression. It's been about 3 weeks now. DD will sleep 2.5-3 hrs when first put to bed, then she's up about every 1.5-2hrs until around 3am. Then she'll either be up for a while (i.e. ~90 min) or she'll just fuss on the boob for a while, making it impossible for me to sleep. I've started bedsharing more and more because all she seems to want is boobs- if I lay with her, she'll at least let me rest (sort of). 

We have to be out of the house for work (full time) most days by 6:30am so her 3-4am starts are really having an impact on my ability to function.  

I've done a ton of research and it just seems like opinions are so polarized about whether to just let her do what she wants and continue bedsharing/all night nursing until she "grows out of it". In the meantime, I'm snapping at DH constantly since he's typically snoring away when all of this is going on. (In fairness to him, he always offers to stay up with her but since all she seems to want is my boobs, I tell him it's not worth it.)

What have you done that's helped you make it through this phase? 

 

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Re: UPDATED: STMs come in- advice for coping with no sleep!

  • I'm sorry honey :(  I think the sleep deprivation was a bit of a different animal for me bc I SAH.  I had the ability to nap with him if need be.  If you are working full time, I don't think you have that option so that changes the conversation a little bit.  I hope you find the answer soon.
    Missed m/c discovered 3/15/12 at 8w2d: "Henry."
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  • This is why we are a bedsharing family!  What time do you try to put her down for the night?  I found with both my kids that 6:00 is our magic time.  Any later and they are up all night overtired.  If I can get them both asleep (LO2 just sleeps on me or in the swing still) then they are less likely to wake up so much.  Then LO2 bedshares when I go to bed so that he can nurse and I can sleep.  If he got to bed early, there is a lot less waking though.

     

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  • This is why we ended up sleep training with DS. He would do exactly what you described, except he also started fighting bedtime and just wouldn't go to sleep. We waited until 6 months for him. It took me sleeping through my alarm, being late for work, and getting a supervisory conference to do it. We've been lucky with DD, she is a pretty good sleeper (fights bedtime a little bit), but if it comes down to it, we'll have to sleep train. I'm a nurse, and get up between 5 and 5:30a daily. I need to be well rested to do my job safely.
                  imageimage
    Homebirthing, babywearing, cloth diapering, young mama to two beautiful babies
    and married to my best friend in the world.
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  • Thanks everyone! Regarding an earlier sleep time: I've been thinking about this. She's typically fallen asleep for the night (sort of) around 7-8pm since birth. So we've never really messed with this. But considering how early we get up, I'm wondering if 8pm is too late. I just don't know if she'd go down any earlier than that. 

    Today was particularly challenging because I've been fighting a bad cold/chest infection and I know I would feel 100% better if I could just sleep a good 5-6 chunk.

    In my head I'm somewhat against sleep training- I don't think LO is getting up a million times a night because she finds it amusing. I do think she had a need for the closeness that bedsharing/all night nursing provides.  When I try and put her in the PnP (for the 45 minutes she'll stay there...) the first thing she does is swipe her arms looking for me and it makes me a little sad. BUT... I need to be able to function at work. My job requires ALOT of thinking and processing to be effective and I'm so tired that I can tell my skills are slipping. Part of me cares very much but the other part cares more about what LO needs right now. So I'm very stuck as to what to do.

    What a mess..... More opinions/experiences are welcome! :) 

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  • With a 6:30 wake up, I'd try to get baby to bed around 6:30/7.  How is her daytime napping?  When and how long is her last nap?

     

  • image Justinlove:

    How is her daytime napping?  When and how long is her last nap?

    Crap. She does nap but it's typically for only around 30-45 minutes. Sometimes she'll do longer but that's generally only if she's in the car.

    I can't blame her for having rough sleep habits. Because of our need for day care, she's with DH on Monday, Daycare Tues and Thurs, Grandma1 on Wed and Grandma 2 on Friday so she's probably a little confused with everyone's different ways of getting her to sleep.

    Wake up time is even earlier- really more like 5:45am.  

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  • image somebuddiesgettingmarried:
    image Justinlove:

    How is her daytime napping?  When and how long is her last nap?

    Crap. She does nap but it's typically for only around 30-45 minutes. Sometimes she'll do longer but that's generally only if she's in the car.

    I can't blame her for having rough sleep habits. Because of our need for day care, she's with DH on Monday, Daycare Tues and Thurs, Grandma1 on Wed and Grandma 2 on Friday so she's probably a little confused with everyone's different ways of getting her to sleep.

    Wake up time is even earlier- really more like 5:45am.  

    Ouch...well, what I was going to suggest may or may not work with so many players and environments.  But, here goes...

    What I found worked REALLY well with DD1 and is starting to work with DD2 is sticking as closely as possible to a daytime nap schedule and bedtime.  DD1 really thrived on routine so while we were "sleep training," nap routines were consistent but different from our night time routine so she would start to understand the difference.  DD2 is not quite as routine driven, but we still keep to a fairly consistent routine.  I hate to say it since you really don't have control over it, but consistency really has been the key for us.

    Bottom line, with the sleep your child is getting (or not getting), no doubt she is probably over tired and nothing is harder than trying to get an over tired kid to sleep (as counter intuitive as it seems).  I would definitely try for the earlier bed time, and if at all possible, try to establish some nap times that are consistent. 

    Does she nap better at one place?  Daycare actually did a great job in helping DD1 establish a daytime sleep routine that we adopted at home.  If there is one place, find out what they are doing and try to see if the other caregivers can mimic it (or at least stick to the same times).

    I feel for you! 

  • image Teacher Clark:
    I know it's probably hard to do, but you need to consider having a more consistent care situation for her. Having so many different care providers can't be easy for her. Babies, kids, even adults need predictability to feel safe, secure, and sane.

    I'm going to agree with this. 

    My work schedule is strange.  I'm home by myself MWF and work outside of the home T and Th.  Then on the weekends DH is home with us.  So, my kids have a different mix of care providers every day.  The only thing that helps us is the fact that my sitter comes to our home on my work days.  So while the kids may have a different person caring for them, they at least have the consistency of being at home and in their own beds for naps.  I also make sure that my sitter and DH follow my schedule when they are watching my kids - lunch is always at the same time, naps happen at the same time, snacks at the same time, etc. 

    As far as coping with the sleep deprivation, the only way I'm surviving now is going to bed very early.  Twice last week I went to bed at 7:30 pm.  While I may SAH some days and have the luxury of some rest in the afternoon, it's very difficult to function on very little sleep when you have a bunch of little ones depending on you for their own surivival.  If I don't go to bed early I can't do it.

        
  • I really feel for you and could have written this post myself, except that I'm on Maternity Leave (1 year in Canada) so I can rest or at least just be a zombie in the daytime if I need to. So serious props to you for being at work full time. I'm with you on feeling compelled to be there for my LO b/c it seems like he's going through a high needs time, but I get to a point where I feel mentally and physically unable to tend to him when he wakes up so often (many times, every 30-45 mins). I have had to consider sleep training b/c bedsharing is not making it all that easier for me and my husband. Has anyone in this situation used the no cry solution? Has that been helpful? 
  • image somebuddiesgettingmarried:
    image Justinlove:

    How is her daytime napping?  When and how long is her last nap?

    Crap. She does nap but it's typically for only around 30-45 minutes. Sometimes she'll do longer but that's generally only if she's in the car.

    I can't blame her for having rough sleep habits. Because of our need for day care, she's with DH on Monday, Daycare Tues and Thurs, Grandma1 on Wed and Grandma 2 on Friday so she's probably a little confused with everyone's different ways of getting her to sleep.

    Wake up time is even earlier- really more like 5:45am.  

    Does she travel or do these people come to your house? It might be nice if they can come to you, and for sure I'd discuss with DH and gmas doing whatever daycare does.  I'd follow the daycare schedules and routines just because they won't change to match your home schedules. :)  Having a consistent schedule and everyone doing the same way of putting her down would probably help a lot.

     

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  • I think the idea of doing things the way the daycare does it for naps is a good one, mostly because they would be the hardest to change. She's home with DH and GMA1 on Mon/Wed- at GMA2's house on Fridays. 

    It makes sense to me that she's all over the place (even more that I've really thought about it writing these posts) but it just doesn't help solve the problem. I think I've decided I don't have the heart for sleep training right now but maybe will move toward it slowly over the next few weeks.

    Thank you all for the feedback. So helpful!! 

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  • My advice is to become very good friend's with your coffee maker or local barista!!!!!! 

    Luckily, caffeine doesn't seem to matter to DS2.  I'm working insane hours right now (12-13 hour days, plus weekends), and on very little sleep.  I seriously could not survive without my coffee in the mornings.

     Good luck to you!  I hope we all get some sleep soon.

          DS1: Quinn - 10.22.10 and DS2: Cole - 01.18.13

    image


      


  • Even though I was originally against sleep training (not militantly so, but I didn't want to do it), I decided it was time when DD1's horrible sleep was hurting our marriage. If you feel like the bad sleep is causing you to resent your DH and cause problems, then IMO, it's time to consider sleep training.

    BFP1: DD1 born April 2011 at 34w1d via unplanned c/s due to HELLP, DVT 1 week PP
    BFP2: 3/18/12, blighted ovum, natural m/c @ 7w4d
    BFP3: DD2 born Feb 2013 at 38w4d via unplanned RCS due to uterine dehiscence

  • OP, you say you don't have the heart to sleep train.  I think it important to point out that sleep training =/= CIO.  CIO is one form of sleep training, but not the only way.  Establishing routines, bed/nap times, etc are also forms of sleep training.

     

  • We have a similar sleep (or lack of sleep) situation as you, including the inconsistent scheduling (only I work part time so I try to sneak a nap most days). We just had a conversation with our pedi today about it, she suggested letting our son sleep on my husbands side only (we bed share because he still eats every 2-3 hours at night). She said it's worth a try because if he gets woken up and smells or notices my breasts then it may wake him up more (then let the breast fussing ensue, I feel you on that one). Tonight will be our first night giving it a go. She said at this age (he's 4.5mo) that at most he should be eating 2 (maybe the occasional 3) times a night. I've also noticed that sometimes if I just lay my hand on his chest it calms him down and *sometimes* he will fall back asleep. I'm not into sleep training either, I know it's not always 'cry it out' but yeah, I think it comes down to that a lot of times. Best of wishes and remember it won't be forever!
  • UPDATE: Just wanted to share how last night went. After all the research and investigating I did over the past few days, the one thing I hadn't really thought about was whether or not she was hungry during the night. I've been having supply issues the past few weeks and have been having to supplement with formula bottles for daycare. I never thought to give her a bottle at home too bu DH suggested that we try giving her a small bottle when she first woke up last night to see if that helped her stay down longer- and it did!

    She slept in her PnP after nursing from 7-10:30 (pretty normal). Then he gave her a bottle and she slept back in the PnP from 10:45 until around 2:45- hasn't done this in weeks! She stirred a bit- I brought her into bed with me and nursed her. Then she slept until around 5:30am, which is about wake up time in our house. 

    So- I finally (after nearly 3 weeks) managed to get a solid ~5 hrs of sleep in one shot followed by a few shorter sessions. Today, I feel like a new woman! Hopefully we've identified the real culprit for this insanity and will be getting back to "normal" soon. Or it can all go "tits up" tonight! We'll have to wait and see. 

    Happy Friday! 

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