Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:17 pm
Post subject: HELP! 10 1/2 month old sleeping problems
My DD is about 10 1/2 months old. In the beginning I swear she was a miracle child. She slept all the time, only woke up once at night, and was sleeping through the night by 7 1/2 weeks.
Then everything changed.
At about 3 1/2 months, she started waking up more at night - 3 times or so. I nursed her and she went back to sleep. She didn't nurse long (7-10 min. or so) and she didn't stay awake at all, so it wasn't a big deal. However, at 8 months, she started waking 7-8 times a night (and some nights 10 or 12 times). At first my husband would go get her, bring her to me, and I would nurse her back to sleep and then carry her back to her crib. I thought it was tiring, but I had no idea what was coming.
Also, other than at night and in the middle of the night, she never needed to be nursed to sleep. However, once she started teething at 8 months, she wanted to be nursed to sleep for naps and at night, which I did.
While it was tiring getting up 7-8 times a night, it was manageable. However, for the past few weeks, things have been much harder. I can no longer nurse her in bed and carry her back to her crib because it wakes her. So I have to nurse her in her glider in her room. I can start in a reclined, comfortable position, but in order to get her to fall asleep and stay asleep, I have to lean forward partway through and it's killing my back. (I have scoliosis.) It takes forever to get her to sleep (a deep sleep) now. I would say 40 minutes is the average. Sometimes I can do it in 30 and sometimes it takes an hour or more. (Once in a blue moon I'm blessed with 15 or 20 minutes and consider it a miracle.) Sometimes I nurse her for an hour and she still isn't in a deep sleep. This can happen at naptime, bedtime, or in the middle of the night, and it makes me lose my mind. The worst is when I nurse her until sheís in a deep sleep (heavy breathing, floppy arms, lets me stop nursing, doesnít move when I get up from the glider), go to put her down, and either she wakes up right then or she wakes up 15 minutes later, right after Iíve fallen asleep. Do you know how maddening it is to spend an hour getting someone to sleep, be all nervous about whether or not itís going to work, think youíre successful, creep out of the room, slip back into bed trying not to wake DH, and fall asleep, only to wake up 15 minutes later and have to do it all over again? I'm spending about 4 hours every night nursing her and waiting for her to get in a deep enough sleep to put her in her crib.
I donít want to do CIO and my DH (who doesnít understand my resistance to CIO and keeps saying we need to Ferberize) doesnít feel comfortable having the baby in bed with us. Heís a big guy and wonít be able to sleep well with a little one in between us. I donít think he should have to sleep on the daybed, either. It seems to me I should be able to sleep with my husband at night, and my daughter should be able to sleep in her crib and just wake a couple times to eat and then go right back to sleep. Is this really too much to ask???
Over the weekend I decided I needed a break from the constant nursing. (Iím so sick of sitting in that darn glider!) We got in the car so she could sleep in her car seat. I also had to do it early this morning before my DH woke up because it got to the point where she wouldnít even nurse to sleep. She was desperately tired (rubbing her eyes, etc.) and yet wouldnít and couldnít sleep. The second she got in the car, she was out. While it worked to drive around for an hour and a half, I obviously cannot do that all night long.
No one in my circle seems to understand and just thinks I should let her CIO. I just canít rationalize doing it. It seems so selfish. At any other age, if my child needs me, I would be there for her. But just because she canít talk yet, Iím going to give her the message I donít have time for her and would rather sleep than comfort her? Is that what Iíd say to her if she called me in college upset in the middle of the night for some reason? I wouldnít just let the phone ring; Iíd pick it up and make sure she was okay. I want to do the same for her now, I just donít know how to also get some sleep myself (and not lose my mind, which Iím about to). Iím also pregnant with our next baby, so Iím extra tired and needing rest.
Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:50 pm
Hi, sorry to hear your having a tough time, it must be so wearing getting no sleep especially when pregnant.
I dont know what CIO is, but I would imagine its leaving your baby to cry. I completely agree with you about not wanting to do that, I couldnt bear to listen to my baby cry and just ignore him either.
My baby is also 10 months old, he has slept through since 10 weeks old and has not needed feeding in the night since this age. I just wanted to ask what your daytime feeding and sleeping routines are? I would imagine you will need to look at this as a whole picture, start sorting out your baby's meal times and sleep times, making sure she is getting enough food throughout the day and not too much sleep. Also does she have any kind of comforter? dummy, mussy, favourite teddy?
If you let me know these things I will try to make suggestions to see if I can help.
Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:12 pm
i really think you need to break the habit of nursing her to sleep, in a few months you are going to have a newborn that NEEDS nursing, so then what are you going to do with your daughter?
she shouldnt need nursing in the night at 10 months, does she have a dummy? as it sounds like she is comfort sucking herself to sleep, maybe offer the dummy instead? or offer a drink of water.
if she wakes in the night go in and rub her back to comfort her and reassure her you are there, but do not give in and nurse her, as soon as she realises she is not getting it she will stop waking for it.
you are not ignoring her by doing this, you are comforting her, which is what she needs but also breaking the cycle of her needing to nurse herself to sleep.
Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:55 pm
fc79 - Thanks for your response. Yes, CIO is Cry It Out. Unfortunately my DD isn't eating much food yet. We started feeding her around 6 months and she wasn't ready. Her doctor said she was okay on breastmilk and to give it time and try again. As soon as the food would hit the back of her throat, she would choke really bad and vomit up her milk (or just saliva if it had been awhile since she'd nursed). Sometimes it was so bad I would start to panic myself, as her face would be all red and she wouldn't be breathing. I know eating isn't easy in the beginning, but all the babies I've cared for (lots through college!) didn't do this, and everything I read said to give it time - that the gag reflex would go away and she'll be ready on her own time. Well, yesterday I tried again and it was better! No vomiting/choking! I want her to eat food so badly (so does my DH) so she won't have to nurse as much - especially at night! I'm hoping now that she can tolerate it and that it will help the sleeping thing, too. I know it's going to take awhile, though. I'm starting slow with the Gerber Oatmeal mixed with breastmilk and realize it will unfortunately be awhile until she eats a decent amount and different things. As far as napping goes, she usually goes down in the morning somewhere between 9 and 10 and again in the afternoon sometime between 1 and 2. However, I just read something about being overtired and I'm wondering if I need to be putting her down earlier for her naps so she's not overtired?
steph181 - Thanks so much for the reply. I would love to break that habit. As I mentioned above, since she's basically only nursing, I'm worried she needs to eat some at night. I realize she doesn't need to eat more than a couple times, but how do I do that? Will it confuse her if I pick her up and nurse her sometimes at night and other times during the night just try to get her to go back to sleep? She does have a pacifier but now refuses to use it! How I wish she would still take it!!!
Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:01 am
Hello, I do feel sorry for you, it's an easy pattern to get into.
I think you can wean her quite quickly now she is 10 months. I remember my lo had lots of coughing/choking episodes at the beginning but they need to keep trying food to overcome it. I think once you get her weaned properly there is no reason for her to wake and you'll feel more comfortable knowing that she is waking for habit rather than hunger.
I don't do controlled crying mainly because it upset my lo so much he just got in a state. We did/do the pick up put down method so basically you pick them up and soothe them when they are crying (not just grizzly) and put them back down when they calm down. I know first time with our boy I was with him for over an hour and then he only slept 10 mins! But those 10 mins were by himself in his cot and he'd put himself to sleep. Next time was easier. Now he won't sleep if I'm around and I used to feed him/ rock him to sleep until 4 months.
Don't think I'd give the dummy because i think you're just replacing one problem for another and then you might find she is waking lots because the dummy has fallen out.
Good luck I'm sure you'll be able to do it, it's just about getting a bit tough but it will benefit her in the long run because she will get a better nights sleep xx
Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:01 am
Hi, the daytime sleep times sound about right, about the same as my 10 month old. Although if she is having such disturbed nights she may need more.
At your daughters age you will be able to move forward with the weaning quite quickly. I would suggest concentrating on this first, offer her breakfast and an evening meal, start with some pureed veg like squash or carrott and introduce a new food every 2 or 3 days when you know there is no allergy. Once you have got her eating more in the day I would say start helping her to self settle for her naps during the day, as you will feel more on top of things in the daytime than in the middle of the night. Try introducing a routine where you do the same things everytime you put her down. Make sure she has had something to eat and is tired but not over tired, try giving her a comforter such as a muslin or one of your t shirts with a little breast milk on so she can feel comforted by your smell. With my little boy, he has a teddy comforter that I only give him when he is tired so he associates it with sleep, i check his nappy, put him in his sleeping bag, put his night light and lullabys on and cuddle him saying the same rhyme everytime. I say good night, give him a kiss and talk to him soothingly as I lay him in his cot. I think the more nervous you are about putting them down, the more likely they are to wake, as they pick up on your feelings. I then give him a little pat, kiss his forehead and saying goodnight, mummy loves you, see you soon. You need to do the same thing each time so they know that is their cue to sleep. I would suggest starting this then at first sit net to the cot so that when she cries you can just put a hand on her and softly say its ok, mummy's here, it will be hard, but you know she is safe and you are there, if she falls asleep like this, do it for a few days, then start sitting out of site, then after a few days leave the room after you put her down. Once the daytime sleep is sorted you can do the same at night making sure she has a really good bedtime routine.
You will have to be strong and determined, but the most important thing is to be calm and confident, then your little girl will trust you and feel secure.
Good luck, let us know how it goes.
Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:21 pm
Jamie was still eating in the night at 10 months. He was bf and we tried giving him water in a bottle to see if he was really hungry or it was habit so you could try that.
I can understand not wanting to do CIO because I refused partly because I didn't agree and partly because Jamie was so stubborn he can scream for hours.
We tried the pick up/put down method and found that helped. We also have a seahorse with a belly that lights up and he learnt to associate that with sleep and used that for comfort.
Have you tried playing round with blankets, the temp, etc. We found that Jamie wanted to go back into blankets rather than a grobag and slept a bit better after that. We also find his really cold at night and gave him a duvet at 10 months which seemed to help.
I would agree that you need to break the habit of nursing and I know how hard it is because I was so tired it was easier just to stick Jamie on my boob when he was awake for the 10th time in a night. What I did do in the end was switch his night feeds to formula. Partly this was so we could share the responsibility and partly so he wouldn't be eating from me for comfort. We did this when he was about 10 months. I still fed him morning and evening but he had formula if he woke in the night. I don't know if its something you'd consider (I found it hard because he'd been exclusively bf until he was 6 months) but I do think this is the thing that made the most difference and straight away he started waking just once at 2am