Thursday, July 19, 2012

More sleep complaints

First, the positive: Alex will now sleep in his bassinet at night. He even puts himself to sleep at bedtime most nights! We do a bath, a story, and somewhere in there (usually before the bath) he eats. I set him down drowsy and (most nights) he falls asleep and sleeps for four hours.

Unfortunately, this blessed four-hour stretch is from about 8-12, and no matter how tired I am I just can't wind down enough to go to sleep at 8.

Once he wakes up for his first night feeding, he wakes up every two hours. It used to be three, for some reason we're back to two.

A friend on twitter recommended this Sleep Lady book, which appears to be a nice middle road between CIO (which I'm not totally against, but he's still too young for) and attachment parenting (which is going to tell me to co sleep and nurse him to sleep, etc.) I'm trying to follow her advice of using all of my soothing skills to get him back to sleep, with nursing as a last resort. It sounds cruel, but if he's truly hungry, he won't go back to sleep, so I'm not withholding food from a hungry baby.

I had been feeding him every time he woke up, but last night I tried the Sleep Lady way. It worked one time.

Last night he woke up at 11:30, 1:15, 3, 5:30, 6, and 7 for the day. Every time he wakes up I put him back in his bassinet, but I'm awake for at least 30 minutes (usually more like an hour) through the course of it all. I just can't keep functioning on these 45 min-2 hour stretches of sleep! Especially when I go back to work. I would be so, so happy if he'd just switch to four hour sleep stretches all night long. I can wake up twice in one night, that would be super easy.

I keep hearing about other people's babies who slept 5-6 hours at 6 weeks, or sleep 9 hours at 9 weeks. It's hard not to feel like I'm failing in some dramatic way. 

The sleep lady also says to try to have the morning nap take place in the bassinet/crib. We're just not ready for that yet - I tried for 45 minutes to get him to nap in his bassinet this morning. It consisted of a lot of him falling asleep, dropping his pacifier, and crying until I replaced it. Then I brought him downstairs, put him in his swing, and he was out like a light. So we're going to be using the swing crutch for a while longer. (napping is really a whole separate blog post)

I love my baby with all of my heart. But I haven't slept longer than three hours at a time for two and a half months, and I have to admit it's starting to wear on me.


Stacy said...

I just went to the ped. for our one month checkup and she suggested giving a formula bottle before bed. She explained that she thinks I am about out of milk by the end of the day and he does not have enough to keep him satisfied throughout the night. She also explained I need to give my breasts a few hours of rest to fill back up on milk before morning.

With my older son, I did more of the attachment parenting and would let him sleep with me. I would just sleep in my nursing tank and he would eat as much as he wanted throughout the night. However, he still sleeps in my bed and their is not enough room!

I am the same way, I cannot function on 1 hr of sleep at a time.

TurtleMama said...

Lulu - I commend you for even attempting to have a sleep schedule. I can't get organized enough to have any kind of routine with Winn. Last night he was up from about 9 pm to 3 am. I was freaking exhausted.
I don't agree with the above poster. I read that that you are never "out of milk" - your breasts just keep making it if it getting taken out. Giving a bottle of formula might make him sleep longer, but that would probably diminish your supply.
I don't know what the answer is - let me know what works!

Allison said...

#1. You are not a failure.

#2. I agree, you have to wait to do sleep training (CIO or otherwise) until you feel ready.

#3. When H was about 8 weeks old, people swore up and down to me that if I gave my boy some rice cereal before bed, he'd sleep through the night. He did not. Not at all. Then they insinuated that I was doing it wrong. It was a hard time, fo' sho'. I feel you.

When I went back to work, H was 12 weeks old and not sleeping through the night. Hubby would take a turn every once in a while, but for the most part? I started going to bed at 8. That inability to pass out at 8 may change when you're back to work. LOL

You just do what you gotta do to survive. ((hugs)) It's definitely hard, and you are definitely not alone. Hope you're able to get some solid rest.

thebunlessoven said...

Oh god I feel for you. This sounds so, so tough.
I'm not sure if they have this service where you are - but have you considered getting some in-home help? Here in Australia they're colloquially called 'Baby Whisperers' - but they're basically trained midwives/maternal nurses who can assist you with sleep problems like you're having.

You find one whose approach sits well with you, and they come to your home (some for a few hours during the day, others will some for three nights running) and help you out. It's a few hundred dollars but when you're as sleep deprived as you must be I figure it's worth a go, right!?

It might just help to have a someone come in an help, a circuit-breaker if you will.

Good luck - and keep seeking help!