How do I do it??

Louise - posted on 01/28/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I haven't had a chance yet to read through previous posts so I hope I'm not repeating...but I'm a little frazzled right now.



I'm a single mom to three kids born 11/05, 02/07, 03/08! My 3 year old is just starting to sleep through the night, however, she HATES going to bed in her own bed. I only have a double bed right now so don't have room for everyone, so I try and get her to sleep in her own bed.



My 2 year old still wakes up 2-3 times a night and I don't know why. Both my girls I weaned at about 6 months (because I was pregnant) so she still takes a bottle. I think it's pretty silly to be giving her 2-3 bottles a night still????



My almost 11 month old is a really easy going baby but VERY attached. He is starting to spend more time with his dad so longer periods away from me. I have trouble getting him to sleep during the day because I have no door on my bedroom and my other kids are SO LOUD. I used to wear him, but he's getting too heavy (27lbs) to wear just around the house. I only wear him out at the supermarket etc now. At night I find it REALLY hard to get him to stay asleep. I seem to be able to get him down about an hour before I go to bed, but then the moment I get in the room and climb under the covers, he is awake guaranteed within 15 min! He nurses so much at night that I'm actually REALLY sore again and I'm too sleep deprived to figure out what else to do. (I forgot to mention that about a month ago I put a crib up beside my bed so my son starts out in the crib, but ends up sleeping with me all night when I go to bed).



I know every mom has sleep exhaustion, but this seems a bit extreme with the two younger ones being up so often. Any ideas on how to deal with the sleep deprivation. Ideas on how to get my kiddos to sleep better? Any ideas on weaning? or is it possible that his waking all night being attached to my boob the entire night is a result of being away from Mommy too much?



Just a virtual hug would work if nothing else. Thanks.

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Louise - posted on 02/02/2009

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I've tried switching to water and had the cup thrown at me (in a glass bottle - not fun).  I've tried watering it down and it worked for a while but I can't fool her anymore.



My 3 year old has gone to bed in her own bed 4 nights in a row now.  I started putting her and her sister to bed at the same time, turning on the Little Mermaid soundtrack and she goes to sleep!!!



Baby is still up all night but sleeping better in his crib before I go to bed.  He's been getting up though and quite upset and arching his back and crying only once a night usually around 10:30-11.  I don't know why.  It doesn't seem like teething pain.  I did notice when I pat, rub, touch his back he brushes my hand away though.  Kind of strange.



I've been giving him a bottle of formula before bed and continuing with nursing at night.  The other night I nursed him twice AND he drank 12 oz of formula within a 2 hour period.  That seems like a lot.

Julie - posted on 01/30/2009

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I have read the no cry sleep method, there are two books, one for babies and one for toddlers. I think they both have great ideas. My little girl sleeps similar to your little boy. She starts out in her crib but ends up in bed with us. She used to nurse a lot during the night, and in the last month has really slowed down on it. She is waking up a lot less, thank goodness. She just turned a month old. One thing I tried that the book suggested was to nurse a lot more during the day, in case they are waking for hunger, and that has seemed to help.

Your son might be teething, and waking up for comfort...and nothing is as comforting as a nice warm boob! I think teething bothers babies more at night. You could try baby advil or tylonel before he goes to bed if you think that is the problem. With your little girl that wants the bottle in the middle of the night I would try switching to water, saying there is no more milk. She might freak out though, so maybe you have to try to explain it through the day. One thing I know that has worked for soothers is to cut the end off of it, maybe you could try doing it to the nipple of her bottle?

For the 3 year old, is it possible to put her mattress at the end of your bed? Or a sleeping bag? Maybe she would sleep ok like that, and then you could transition her out to her own bed?

I hope it helps and hope you get some sleep soon. I have been tired for a year, and keep thinking I couldn't possibly get any more tired, only to find out Surprise! you're more tired today. So you are not alone! (((HUGS)))

Louise - posted on 01/30/2009

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Quoting Brenda:





Have you tried letting the 11 month old fall asleep on your arm and then transfer him to the crib?  I did that with my son, because we only had a full size bed at the time.  Some babies at that age will use the breast as a pacifier as well, where they aren't really sucking for food but instead are just sucking to be sucking.  I don't know your feelings on pacifiers, but I know that some babies need the extra oral stimulation, even breastfed babies.  





My son does fall asleep in my arms and then I move him most of the time.  Sometimes he's still sort of awake and he'll let me rub his back until he falls asleep but he often will just freak out.  He is definately a sucky baby but interestingly will NOT take a soother.  I've tried on a number of occasions because he is constantly sucking my arm, my face, biting me.  It's so bad I can hardly hold him without getting bit or a hickie.





My son didn't give up the bottle till shortly before his second birthday.  Eventually we "lost" the bottle and I gave him a sippy cup at night instead.  I weaned him from milk and to water on the bottle first, and to this day he has a sippy cup at his beside.  He will wake up now and then to drink and then goes back to sleep.  Some kids just wake up more often than others for a lot of reasons. Now, he's waking up from dreams sometimes and then will fall back asleep.





This is what I've tried.  She will go to bed with a sippy cup (of milk not water) but will cry for her "baby bottle" after about 20 min.  I guess I just need to try harder.  But when she wakes in the middle of the night I don't know what to do.





I know its hard to do, but have you tried laying in bed with the three year old for alittle bit till she falls asleep?  I had my son doing that really well before my brother in law moved in and he had to come back to bed with us.  He had gotten to where he was almost going to bed on his own.  He would sometimes get up early and get back in our bed, but not very often.  It is a process and takes a lot of "you're the big kid now, you know" talk. 





This I have tried.  And it works.  But it is nearly impossible with the other kids.  I can't leave the two youngest ones in a room alone (they would poke each other's eyes out), so I would have to get Kid #2 to sleep first, leave Kid #3 to entertain himself while I lay with Kid#1.  Kind of tricky!



 



 

Louise - posted on 01/30/2009

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Quoting Elizabeth:

Oh, and if getting a door on your bedroom is an absolute impossibility, then how about a sound machine to run during your son's naps? It might even help you sneek in bed at night without waking him...





I think maybe playing some music might help.  I do go to bed ever-so-quietly though, I'm pretty sure he smells me.  I did the pat-on-the-back-and-dont-pick-them-up-until-they-are-hyserical sleep method with my girls.  Don't know who's method that is besides my own, but my son does NOT respond to it.  To lay in his bed without me upsets him so much she starts arching his back and "bucking."  I also don't know if I have the energy to follow through with this.  I'm SOOOOOOOO sleep deprived.  It's easier with the first kid because a couple rough nights in a row won't kill me, but now every night is rough so it's hard for me to deal with the kids when they get up.  I'm trying to find the fastest solution possible so I can get back to bed, so I'm pretty sure that some of their clingyness is a result of my parenting mistakes.

[deleted account]

I can't offer much in the way of advice, because I'm afraid I'd be pretty frazzled, too... so...



 



(((((((hugs)))))))



Remember to take care of yourself as much as you can!

Brenda - posted on 01/29/2009

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Having them close together has its difficulties, and I can't imagine having them at those ages together!  :)  My son is 3 1/2 and I have one due in May so I don't have experience with with the closeness in age.  Have you tried letting the 11 month old fall asleep on your arm and then transfer him to the crib?  I did that with my son, because we only had a full size bed at the time.  Some babies at that age will use the breast as a pacifier as well, where they aren't really sucking for food but instead are just sucking to be sucking.  I don't know your feelings on pacifiers, but I know that some babies need the extra oral stimulation, even breastfed babies.   Mine started out on the breast, and after about three weeks I let him have a pacifier, but he hated the thing, so it never helped us out.  I had to stop nursing at 4 weeks though b/c of surgery.



My son was a heavy boy too, and at that age I was feeding him quite a bit of cereal before bed and it seemed to help keep him asleep and make him feel full.  He would still wake up wanting his bottle about 2 or 3 times a night, though.  But I would let him have it for a little while and he'd fall asleep and I'd transfer back to the crib.



My son didn't give up the bottle till shortly before his second birthday.  Eventually we "lost" the bottle and I gave him a sippy cup at night instead.  I weaned him from milk and to water on the bottle first, and to this day he has a sippy cup at his beside.  He will wake up now and then to drink and then goes back to sleep.  Some kids just wake up more often than others for a lot of reasons. Now, he's waking up from dreams sometimes and then will fall back asleep.



I know its hard to do, but have you tried laying in bed with the three year old for alittle bit till she falls asleep?  I had my son doing that really well before my brother in law moved in and he had to come back to bed with us.  He had gotten to where he was almost going to bed on his own.  He would sometimes get up early and get back in our bed, but not very often.  It is a process and takes a lot of "you're the big kid now, you know" talk. 



I hope something helps, and you're not alone.  We've all been through those times when we wonder if we're ever going to sleep again.  I've never read any of the sleep books, I always just kind of went with what worked for me best with my son.  But then I only had one, and its harder for you since you've got to manage three of the little ones.  The good news is that it doesn't last forever, and as hard as it is, try to enjoy them at these ages while you can.  They grow so fast! 

Elizabeth - posted on 01/29/2009

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I'm so sorry you are so exhausted. There is nothing (in my opinion) worse than chronic sleep deprivation-- there is a reason they use it as a torture technique! Now, I am definitely NOT representative of most of the moms on this group, but I am a firm believer in sleep training. We read (carefully) several sleep books (Prantleys No Cry Sleep Solution, Ferber's Solve your Child's Sleep Problems, and Wisenbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits) and went with Ferber. It is NOT cry it out, but there is crying! He has a chapter in the new version about bed-sharing. He's not a fan, but recognizes that lots of people do it, so he's written about it. I'd urge you to read the book, even if you decide not to do it.

IMHO, babies need to be able to have access to food, snuggles, etc. when they need them. By toddlerhood, they need to start having limits put on them. By two, kids should be totally off the bottle-- its so bad for their teeth, and she needs to be sleeping the night through. Kids need sleep and we are raising the most chronically sleep-deprived generation ever. I'm sure you'll get lots of other opinions about continuing to co-sleep/bf at night, but I would get the kids moved into thier own beds, develop very consistent bedtime rituals, get a sleep plan (who ever you want to use) and STICK WITH IT. It will be a rough transition, but I truly believe everyone will be happier when they are getting a good night's sleep.

Oh, and if getting a door on your bedroom is an absolute impossibility, then how about a sound machine to run during your son's naps? It might even help you sneek in bed at night without waking him...

Good luck. You are very brave-- i would have run for the hills by now! :-)

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