Tuesday, August 17

Sleep Help Needed!

We need sleep help here!

When Colby came home from the hospital at 3.5 months, he was sleeping pretty well. He'd wake 2 times and I would feed him 2 times. Slowly he started waking less and I'd feed him once until there was a long stretch where he would sleep 8pm to 6am. It was perfect because it coincided with me going back to school.

But now... now he wakes up ALL the time and he's STILL hungry.

He goes down at 8pm and then he ALWAYS wakes up at 11pm hungry. I've tried just soothing him or tricking him with water, but no dice. He always scarfs down at least 4oz, sometimes more.

Then begins the series of wake ups. Sometimes hungry, sometimes not. Usually around 1am, 3am, 5am, and then 6:30am.

Usually around 5am he ends up in our bed out of exhaustion and desperation. Since he falls asleep in my arms the transfer to his crib (which is at its lowest setting) often startles him. Sometimes we can make the transfer okay, but more often than not, by the 4th wake up call I'm clumsy and it doesn't work so well. I usually try the transfer 3 or 4 times before giving up.

I've tried feeding him more before bed and during the day to offset his night feedings because they're a little ridiculous at over a year old. But that hasn't worked.

I totally changed up his bedtime routine to expand it so that he would have more time to get sleepy and comfy. I swear that has only made him wake more.

I don't know what to do! I don't want to do cry-it-out, but I want him to get a good night of sleep and I need it too, especially with school back on the horizon.

I do still rock him to sleep which I realize is a total crutch and my undoing at 1am, 3am, etc... I've slowly gotten off of giving him a bottle to fall asleep because I wanted to be able to brush his teeth before putting him down. Sometimes he gets a bottle of water to fall asleep because the sucking definitely soothes him and he doesn't like a pacifier.

I know he might be teething, but I feel like this has gone on way too long to be teething. (He hasn't slept a stretch of more than 4-5 hours in almost 3 months) He's otherwise healthy and sickness free. He's an okay napper (we're working on that).

So what do I do?


ashley said...

Wish I could help you. Randi slept great until she was about 4 1/2 months and then she started waking up every two hours. Wasn't sure if she had gas, acid reflux, teething or what it was. Sad to say, she will be a year old on Wednesday and still does not sleep through the night and gets up a minimum of three times a night. I sometimes chalk it up to her being hungry because when she does wake up at night she will not go back to sleep unless she has a bottle and sucks down 5 oz every time she wakes up. I did notice though that if we give her something that will sit heavy in her belly before bedtime, such as mashed potatoes (her fave) she will sleep much better at night and only wake up once. Sorry this is so long. Sometimes babies just don't sleep through the night I suppose, my husband didn't start sleeping through the night until he was like 5 years old. So maybe my daughter will when she's 5. :( Let me know if you find anything that works. Good luck!

Alyssa said...

We did CIO at 5.5 months. Hailey has slept 12-14 hours straight every night since then (with maybe 5 exceptions in the last 5 months).

Here's what we did (I posted this somewhere else a while back, so it's copy-pasted):

1. I took away her paci. I think this is key, because it had become a sleep prop where she absolutely needed it to fall asleep. We gave her a winnie the pooh stuffy/blanky thing for her to cuddle, hold, etc. Books I read say this isn't a sleep prop but is rather a "transitional" object. Like, we have pillows and blankets to help us fall to sleep comfortably.

2. Not picking her up. Some people (not Ferber) say to pick up till they stop crying and then put them back down. This seems weird to me. She got visibly angry when she realized we werent going to pick her up, and for a few days, she cried everytime we neared her room. But she's gotten so much better, and doesn't cry at ALL anymore.

3. We used the Ferber idea of intervals. The first night, we went in after 3 minutes of crying, then 5 minutes, then 7 minutes (it took about five additional 7 minute intervals of full out crying to get her to sleep that first night). The second night moved to 5, 7, 10 minutes. The third night was 7, 10, 12 minutes. Etc. The intervals are slightly different than in the book, but Ferber says to do what feels right and that's what worked for us.

4. At night time, we let her CIO / fuss as long as it took for her to fall asleep.

5. In the middle of the night, we didn't go in immediately upon her crying, we just started over with the intervals. Sometimes she fell back asleep before we even had to go in. Sometimes she didnt fall asleep. If she was still fussing/crying at 6 am, we got her up to start the day even though it's earlier than usual.

6. For naps, we use the same intervals. This is where we used a second CIO method (not ferber) for naps. She says to let them fuss/CIO for 1 hr 10 minutes. If they havent fallen asleep by then, take a break and pick them up for 20-30 minutes, giving a bottle if necessary. Then try again. If they havent fallen asleep after ANOTHER 1 hr 10 minutes, it's a "nap emergency" and you are to take them for a stroller or car ride to get them to fall asleep since they need sleep. We never had to do this. She fell asleep some time in the second 1 hr 10 minute wait.

7. If she woke up in the middle of a nap (i.e. after anything under one hour), we waited for, again, the same intervals. If after 25-30 minutes she still wasnt asleep, we ended that nap, and moved up her next naptime to earlier.

8. We also make sure she's not over or under tired, by keeping a close eye on her awake times (which includes everything awake, like feeding, diapering, playing, and the time it takes for the baby to fall back asleep). It's been amazing how her sleep has gotten better resulted in her being able to stay awake closer to her suggested awake time based on age.

Guideline for Awake time for babies
Newborn 50-60 mins
1 month 60 mins-hour and 15
2 months 1 hour and 15 - 20 mins
3 months 1 hour and 20 - 30 mins
4 months 1 hour and 45 - 2 hours
5 months 2 hours - 2.25 hours
Late 5 months/early 6 months 2.25-2.5 hours
6.5 - 7 months 2.75-3 hours. Some are getting more.
8 - 10 months 3 - 4 hours. Some are getting more.
11 - 12 months 3.5 -4.5 hours. Some are getting more if moved early to 1 nap

9. We make sure her bedtime is reasonable: i.e. between 7-8 pm, no later. Babies actually wake up sooner the later they go to bed, since they are often overtired.

Hope it helps some!!!

Anonymous said...

We tried the ferber method but could not go through with it. My husband & I both worked and did not have family around to give us occasional relief so we put a queen size matress on the floor and slept with our son for 3 yrs. When he was able to speak and understand at 3 we told him he had to sleep by himself. He did so the 1st night we talked about it and has not returned to our bed since. He is 9 years old and has never had a nightmare or any other nightime fears. You have to do what feels right for you and what gives you sleep. Trust yourself and get lots of rest because it is so important.

Michele said...

Bobby and Maya go to bed around 10pm, usually in our arms. They are laid down in their twin beds, with bolsters in place so they cant roll off, and sleep there until 7am or so, when they wake for a 7-8oz bottle, then take their morning nap until 8:30 or so. Unless they have a nightmare, or are upset due to teething, this has been their routine for months. They take a late morning nap and a mid-afternoon nap, and sometimes a one hour or so dinnertime nap, but otherwise are awake and alert. They eat solids several times a day, in additions to bottles a few times a day. They are 11 months old.

I'm not sure of any advice, but I cant imagine letting our little ones cry it out or anything like that, and we still rock them too, so you arent alone!

Michele said...

This is going to be super long, but you can email me if you want to chat! :)

So... Each has a twin bed. They have the "invisible" mesh rails. Then, inside of that, my MIL came up with this sheet that she put swimming tubes in, to bolster the sides from head to foot. THEN, inside of that, we have the travel bolsters we received for our shower (someone took a beach towel and sewed it such that bolsters are in either side. The weight of the baby on the towel keeps it from moving). Then, at the head of the bed, I shoved a pillow, so there is no way they can get caught between mattress/headboard. At the foot of the bed, there are pillows so they cant get off.

Bobby is a mover and shaker. When he wakes up in the morning, he makes it his mission to figure out how to get off the bed. But, when he's awake and quiet, we know there's a problem, LOL! We've come in and he's turned around and crawling towards the foot of the bed, and trying to figure out how to use the pillows and railings and bolsters to maneuver out of bed. They've been sleeping in twins since 7m (they are 11.5m now) and no issues, and since he's on the verge of walking, I know keeping him in bed is going to be a challenge, but we shall see.

Hope this helps!

birdsandsquirrels said...

I wish I had some suggestions for you. I was just rocking Birdie to sleep the other night, thinking to myself that Stacey rocks Colby to sleep and he's a year old, so it must be okay. She is now almost 8 months old and we have had some pretty good nights when she isn't teething (sleeping 9 to 10 hours with typically one wake up), but I feel like it is random luck. Plus, we always feed or nurse her and rock her to sleep, and she loves her pacifier.

I know that I don't have the heart to do cry it out. I've been reading the "Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child" book and really trying to make sure she gets her naps and sleeps more total hours per day. When she was getting that first tooth though, the routine was shot to hell.

I hope that things settle down soon! Good luck.