Have I created a night-waking monster? — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

Have I created a night-waking monster?

Hi, lurker here with a huge problem.

We are 18 days away from LO's first birthday, and he's still waking at least every 2 hours if not sooner. Lately he'll have nights where it's every 45 mins to an hour. We have bedshared with him from day one. I nurse him to sleep and when he wakes up, and I have really loved it...but I am starting to wonder if it's what's best for everyone concerned at this point.

I am a nurse and I work 12 hour shifts three days in a row, so I can have four days off with him in a row. But he is pretty staunchly reverse cycled by the time I finish my last shift. It takes me all four days to get him back to nursing mostly in the daytime, instead of at night.

I am at a complete loss as to how to begin to transition him to a bed of his own...and am even a little doubtful if that would even help. But something has to change, this is not working at all. On days that I work, I am only getting roughly 4 hours of sleep with all of his wakings...and it is really rough to work 12 hours on that little sleep...especially after 7 months of it, I think it's starting to affect my health.

He will not take a pacifier from me; he will on occasion let DH put him back to sleep, but mostly just kicks and screams until I take him back and nurse him. I try to do the Pantley pull-off before he is properly asleep, but it hasn't really staved his growing boob addiction.

Any suggestions, or at least commiseration, would be greatly appreciated. 

Mama to sunshine baby "J" 5.13.11 and angel baby "E" born still on 2.11.14
TTC our rainbow since April '14


Re: Have I created a night-waking monster?

  • My LO also will not take a cup/bottle, just wants to nurse when I'm home.  I'm wondering if it's possible for you to BF him on the days you work.  My IL's used to bring LO by my work after 4 hours (I worked 8 hrs) so I could BF her.

    There's no way he needs to eat every 45 min, though, even if he's reverse cycling.  Have you tried sleeping in the other room and having your DH soothe him?  If I'm there in the bed, it's much harder than if I'm in the other room.

  • I have no real advice, just letting you know you are not alone.  V will be 1 year in 4.5 weeks.  And we are waking up every 45 minutes to 2 hours all night long.  Every once in a while, she will go back to sleep with just cuddles, but typically it has to be BF'ing.  I plan to implement the Jay Gordon night weaning method in the next few weeks.  DH and I are both RNs (though I'm not working right now) and I know how you feel.  Hugs!


    Me - 40, DH 34 Married 11 years, TTC since 7/09 3 rounds of Clomid > Vivienne born 5/28/11
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  • YOu don't necessarily have to entirely eliminate night feedings or change beds.  We did the partial night weaning thing (no nursing between whatever hours I choose).  Yes, there was a bit of crying while I lay next to DD for a few nights as this happened (I think it was up to two weeks).  But it wasn't full blown crying, I was right there next to her (literally) rubbing her back and talking to her, and she did eventually adjust.  (Of course, she still wakes up at least one additional time just for a diaper change... /eyeroll)  You can try googlind "Dr. Jay Gordon nightweaning".  You will, though, need to be patient, as this is no "three day solution".
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • We just night weaned LO at 21 months. 

    I tried everything and eventually just picked 7 hours and had DH sleep with her.

    I tried Dr. Gordons for 4 days - tried Pantley... tried some modified versions of things I read. I also read Ferber's book, which provided some great information.

    We did not do CIO, but there was crying involved because LO was pissed that I was not there. When we started at around 20 months, she was waking every 1-2 hours and nursing. Sometimes comfort nursing, but also eating at least 2x per night. We got her down to only eating once, but she still woke up every 1-2 hours and it was killing me. So, DH and I talked about it and figured that we would try it with him in bed next to her. We put her crib right next to the bed (we had been bedsharing) and I nursed her in a rocking chair in another room, and then handed her off to DH. For a few nights, I pretended I was leaving the house. DH did the rest of night time routine, read her books, and put her in the crib. He then "went to sleep" next to her. She did much better than when I was in the room with her - she would wake up, see DH, then roll over and go to sleep. She did cry a few times the first night, but DH was right there with her. 

    She did much better for a while, and was even sleeping for 7-8 hours at a time.

    She's sick now though, and woke up a lot last night. DH is still the night time comforter, and she seems to calm down better for him. If I try, she still wants to nurse.

    good luck! 

    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

  • Aw, I've been there, if it's any consolation!

    You could try sleeping somewhere else, and having your DH sleep with DS most of the night - or even just do that on the nights you're going to work. Will he let your DH cuddle or rock him back to sleep?

    The Jay Gordan night weaning method works well for us: https://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html

    I just partially night weaned DS2 a few weeks ago, and then he got a horrible cold, so we're back to nursing a few times a night, but it was working really well after about 7-10 days.

    DS1 slept with us pretty much from birth, and transferred into his own bed at 23 months with NO problems. Once DS2 is sleeping a bit longer without nursing, we are going to move him into his own room on a twin-size mattress (he's 18 months). I would probably wait a few months before having your DS sleep totally alone, but that's totally JMO. You can always try different things and see what sticks - that's what our plan has been when it comes to toddlers and sleep.

    Good luck, hope some of that helps!

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • DS nursed every two hours from 7 months to 12 months, so I get it. Around 12 months two things happened that encouraged us to gently restrict night feedings: 1) He naturally made the transition from primarily BM to primarily solids, so I didn't worry about pushing him into something he wasn't ready for. 2) I got PG and my supply lightened and my nipples got more sensitive. Now, 2 doesn't apply here but what I can share is that I would offer the breast for a shorter amount of time and then unlatch him. That way I knew I was addressing hunger, thirst, or comfort needs but maintaining my own sanity and allowing moments for other soothing to catch on. The other thing I did was not offer the breast at night unless it had been 3-4 hours. I would offer special cuddles, let him sleep next to DH, etc. but not offer the breast. I would tell him that, "Milkies are asleep. maybe they will wake up after you sleep some more." If he was inconsolable for an extended time, I would do something (like go to the bathroom), and then come back and tell him that, "Milkies are awake now. Would you like some?" It led to a couple of hard nights, but then he started to get it (not as in STTN, but as in calming down faster, waiting 3-4 hours to wake or at least to "ask" again, etc.)

    Don't worry that you have "created" anything but a baby who loves you and knows that you wil meet his phsysical and emotional needs. That is a beautiful thing! Now, obviously you are at a place where you want to expirement with seeing if he can accept those needs being met in other ways, and that is a normal, healthy thing. Give it your best shot, try different things. If they work, great! If not, then you can decide if you will push the issue or if you will give him more time to develop before trying again. This WILL pass.

  • I feel your pain.  My DD is 18 months and has STTN three times in her entire life.  So while I don't have a real solution I think it helps to know that you're not alone especially when it seems (at least to me) that everyone I know IRL have LO's who sleep all night every night. 

    I bedshared with LO (up until two weeks ago) and nursed all night until she was 1 year.  She definitely reverse cycled.  At DC she would drink maybe 3oz of BM a day but would nurse every 2 hours at least during the night.  I night wean her cold turkey and had DH soothe her while I laid in the same bed.  The first night she cried for 1 minute, the second night 30 seconds, then no crying after that.  DD was/is very high needs so I was shocked at how easy it came for us. She still woke about the same but will take a paic.

    I didn't plan on ending bedshaing so soon but LO was wiggling so much in the bed that it was driving me batty so we switched her to her crib. I can't just lay her down though...I have to stay in the room and hold her hand until she's out.  It's been two weeks and she's still waking a few times each night.  There comes a point where she won't stay in the crib and I bring her to bed with me.  Sometimes it's 1230am, sometimes 6am.

    My DH can't lay DD down either--she just screams, but he's going to have to be able to since I'm due in September and will be nursing the newborn all the time and need DH and DD to be comfortable without me putting her down.  How this will all happen I don't know...

    I wish that I could help :(

  • imagenosoup4u:

     The Jay Gordan night weaning method works well for us: https://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html

    I just partially night weaned DS2 a few weeks ago, and then he got a horrible cold, so we're back to nursing a few times a night, but it was working really well after about 7-10 days.

    I think this is a extraordinarily important thing to remember about this approach - it will not be all better in three days, or four, or necessarily 10 (though for some!).  It takes some time, and even he suggests giving it two weeks.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Thanks, ladies. It's good to know that I'm not alone in this at least. I have been following my instincts, but the mommy guilt/exhaustion creeps in and tells me that maybe I've had it all wrong and should've listened to the CIO people who've told such glowing stories about how their child has slept 12 hours for their whole life Tongue Tied.

    I think the Dr. Jay Gordon method may well be worth a try...sounds rough, but I'm already not sleeping, right? Lol.

    Anyway, thanks again! 

    Mama to sunshine baby "J" 5.13.11 and angel baby "E" born still on 2.11.14
    TTC our rainbow since April '14


  • I wish I had advice but all I have is commiseration!  We are in the same boat.  We've tried most of what pp have tried, but no dice.  If I'm perfectly honest with myself, I'm sort of ambivalent.  I desperately need and want sleep, and it would be great for my DH to come back to the bed,etc.  but.....I really love cosleeping and waking up to LO's smiles and cuddles.  
    image 30 y/o with PCOS HSG normal, SA essentially normal (slightly low morph but good # and motility) 50 mg Clomid...zip; 100 mg Clomid...nada; 150 mg Clomid...zilch 1/10 Injectable cycle with Gonal-F, Ovidrel, and TI.....Beta 2/22...BFN 2/10 Injectable cycle with Gonal-F and Follistim (long story), Ovidrel..BFN 4/10 Injectable cycle (see above). BFP but early m/c 5w5d. 5/10 Break cycle due to BFC (Big Fat Cyst)...darn it all 6/10 Injectable cycle +IUI...BFN 7/10 Injectable cycle + IUI.....BFP!!! Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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