Sanity is waning.. I hate you, Dr. Ferber — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

Sanity is waning.. I hate you, Dr. Ferber

Hello! I promise I am not a lurker, or a drive-by.. I used to be on TB all the time when I was preggo, but we have had more problems than you can imagine selling our house/buying our new one.. and what with the problems I am about to unload on you, coupled with the fact that I hate mobile bumping.. I have been on hiatus.

But now my sanity is barely hanging on... And I need my bumpies back!

My DD is almost 10 months old. She does not sleep.

I realize a lot of you are thinking, "ok, here we go.." but this is not the normal sleep regression story. She did not start out sleeping great and then suddenly have issues.

I have had this problem since birth. When they're new and little you think, "Oh she's so alert!" and it's completely normal for them to breastfeed every 2 hours. But at 10 months (and a whopping 20 lbs I might add) she's clearly not starving. She has a normal eating schedule during the day which includes table foods, purees and breastmilk. My pediatrician assures me that at this age, hunger will not wake her and as she is at such a great weight, it's merely habit. He has been pushing me to the Ferber method since 4 months of age. That was too young for me. I did try it at 6 months when my sanity had hit an all time low. I did it for naps, bedtime, naps and bedtime... It was awful, my baby broke out in hives and she slept worse than ever. Waking every 20 - 45 minutes as opposed to every hour. I have tried co-sleeping, bottle feeding, Ferber, baby wearing, essential oils, massage, Ferber (again) and I am so getting so frustrated and so tired and feeling horrible about myself... Please tell me that there is someone out there experiencing this? Nothing soothes her back to sleep except breastfeeding and occassionally the pacifier (which I have begun to offer first.)

Also I will add that for the second time I amtrying to cut back on caffiene. I do not drink coffee but due to this lack of sleep and a wild three year old, I need my soda!!! It's now day 3 of my cutting back and the last two nights of sleep have been worse. And I'm near tears because I'm tired and I want a Dr. pepper.

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Re: Sanity is waning.. I hate you, Dr. Ferber

  • I'm so sorry you're having a rough time. DS has never been what I would call a "good sleeper." He has always been one to wake many times a night, usually about every 2 hours. It's only recently started to get a bit better, and he'll usually do 3 or so hours for his first stretch of sleep before waking. But he's definitely gone through a few spurts of waking every hour - or less. Those are the worst, but they do pass. 

    Bedsharing is the only thing that allows me any decent sleep at all. I never sleep trained, so that's my main advice. That and just try to get through it, keeping in mind that it is temporary. You're definitely not hurting your DD by nursing her to sleep or nursing at night. It's totally normal, and your doctor needs to butt out :)


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  • great advice above. i also like this article on the subject a lot.
  • ncbellencbelle member
    Have you looked at the No Cry Sleep Solution?  She has some tips in there that could help cut back on the night nursing and help get some longer sleep stretches.

    I do agree that night nursing is still VERY normal at this age - my babies nursed throughout the night into toddlerhood and definitely went through wakeful periods where they woke frequently.  Bed sharing was the way to go for us.
  • If you got up at 2am every night and ate a sandwich and then suddenly didn't it you would probably be hungry at 2am. Even if you didn't *need* the sandwich. My daughter was a frequent night waker until she was almost two (and now she's almost three and she's up at least once most nights) and I do think it was partially due to learned hunger. It also persisted despite everything I tried and there wasn't much I could do other than wait it out. Eventually she outgrew it on her own.
    Mama to a little girl born July 2011 and a little boy born April 2014! Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • DS1 woke every 2 hours (unless it was a rough night where it was every 45 min) until about 14 months when we weaned him to every 4 hours. DS2 was similar, but trended more toward every 3 hours before the night-weaning at 14 mo (partial) and full (19 mo). I will add that night-weaning didn't help DS1 STTN. With DS2 it did.

    What your going through sounds tiring but normal. That's not to say you can't make some choices to change things, but don't feel like you or your child can't be healthy with this model. You can! And, if/when you do want to change things, you can do it with baby in-arms and nurtured.

    Here are some (IMO encouraging) sleep studies to show that your experience is not abnormal: You may notice right off the bat that night-waking gets more common about the 10 month mark. I suspect it's probably teething, social awareness, and working through new physical skills.

  • Ditto all of the pp's but also really try cutting back caffeine.  I know that is awful but my DD was super sensitive to caffeine and I paid the price if I had even minimal amounts.  I read somewhere (don't quote me) that caffeine also sticks around in a baby's system much longer and I believe it from what I witnessed with my DD.  If I ever "splurged" on caffeine she would be crazy for like 48 hours plus afterwards.  It is worth a try. :)
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  • DD was also a horrible sleeper.  Waking to nurse every ~2 hrs until past a year old.  Naps were a horrid nightmare trying for more than an hour to get her to sleep only to have her wake after 45 minutes in the middle of her nap.  But, after four years of her, I've learned a few things that apply to my daughter - MAYBE some of it would help you:

    1) Continuous sleep is a developmental milestone.  There isn't a whole f*ing lot you can do about it if your kid isn't ready.
    2) Sleep cycles are kinda a big deal, and trying to get your kid to sleep in the wrong part of one is awful, and getting them to stay asleep/go back to sleep through the active part of a rest/active cycle can be HARD and take a REALLY LONG TIME.
    3) *and this one might apply, since DD was also a "oh, she's so alert and aware!" baby* Some kinds are highly sensitive to their sensory input.  (Google sensory processing disorder if you aren't somewhat familiar with the idea.)  That doesn't always mean "dark and quiet" is mandatory for sleeping (though sometimes it does), but it does mean that they can't regulate and process sensory input the same way other people can, and it's WAY harder for them to manage it.  It makes it hard to sleep!
    4) Reflux was a big problem for us.
    5) Did I mention that sensory sensitivity thing?  *Huge*
    6) Oh, and did I mention that developmental milestone thing?  Yeah.  That.
    7) My daughter woke up every time she peed.  Didn't matter if her diaper wasn't soaked, from at least a year old (but probably younger), she woke up if she peed.  Once I clued into this, if I changed her when she woke if she was the slightest bit wet, she went back to sleep more easily.  Yes, a pain, but I cannot begin to tell you how easy she has been at night potty training.

    For us, cosleeping got us the most rest.  Was I well rested?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  No.  Was I more rested than if I tried something different?  Yeah, I think so.  

    Night weaning (happened at 3yrs old) didn't make her sleep through the night.  She's 4, and I can almost guarantee you she will wake at least once tonight (if it's a good night, that is).  Every kid is different.  (For the record, she is now in her room, but when she wakes at night, I go to her and sleep in her bed the rest of the night.)

    Hang in there.  Rough sleepers are tough.  It's a reason we might be OAD (though we haven't decided for sure).
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    PhieryBFly[Deleted User]jesuisfatigueestudyinpink
  • PhieryBFlyPhieryBFly member
    edited May 2014
    You should know that even adults don't 'sleep through the night.' Everybody wakes up just a little to roll over or re-adjust. Having appropriate ideas of what baby and toddler sleep looks like can reduce the stress A TON. Here's an article that may help. This site has a lot of great sleep and AP resources:

    Good Luck and it will get better at some point!

  • I'm sorry your LO is a difficult sleeper.  It does make things harder to add sleep deprivation on top of parenting.

    1) I HATE HATE HATE when dr's say baby doesn't need to eat at night.  If it's impossible to overfeed a baby and they only eat when they're hungry they when are they still eating?  DS2 didn't drop eating at night until about 10 mo and he was a big baby too.  The pedi said "well if you stop feeding him he'll stop eating it"  Or I'll keep feeding him and when he no longer is hungry he won't eat it.

    2)I agree with no cry sleep solution and reading ferber.  For ferber read up on the sleep mechanics sections, I learned a lot about sleep from that book.

    To my boys:  I will love you for you Not for what you have done or what you will become I will love you for you I will give you the love The love that you never knew
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