4 month old baby and serious sleep deprivation!

Desiree - posted on 12/16/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My baby boy is driving me to the edge of my sleep deprived limits!

He sleeps in bed with me, and starting sometime after midnight he starts rolling over in his sleep, lifting his head up, whining and fussing while "swimming" across the bed on his tummy, probably at least a dozen times until it's time to get up. It's been going on for about a month, and it's getting worse. I thought it was just a developmental thing since he started learning to roll over, and would pass, but these interruptions are only getting more frequent.

Every time it happens I have to roll him back over, nuzzle him close and nurse him to get him to settle. He's not truly waking up - his eyes are always closed.

He does sleep soundly the first few hours, it's confusing that after that initial chunk of sleep he starts this. And there seems to be a 2-3 hour block of time in the late night/early hours where it's a continual thing where I only get minutes of sleep after nursing him before he starts up again. I'm starting to feel envious of people who complain of their babies waking up 3 to 4 times to feed, lol! What I would give to have 1-1/2 - 2 hour blocks of sleep back.....

Any ideas, similar stories??

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Sarah - posted on 12/16/2012

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He is using you as a pacifier. I know it sounds crazy, but he is using nursing as a means to go back to sleep. He really isn't hungry, but he likes to suck. It sooths him. I know most nursing mommy's are 100% against pacifiers, I was. However, when my little girl started to do the same thing (except she didn't sleep with me so no "swimming" towards the prize) I would get no sleep. She started this really early though, at about 3 weeks. I did some research and decided to go with the same pacifier that my son used (he was not nursed due to being born early). We used the MAM brand of pacifier. It really helped with the constant wanting to suck. After about 2 to 3 days I was able to tell if she was just wanting to suck on something or if she was hungry. I would search the different types of pacifiers out there and then I would buy one that you think is good for you and the baby. It will help tremendously.

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Sally - posted on 12/18/2012

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Babies are supposed to use mom as a "pacifier". Why should they suck a lump of plastic if they can have the real thing. Get some pillows, practice positions, and only wake long enough to latch him on. It took a bit of practice (and some sleep deprivation), but I didn't even wake to latch my daughters after a while. We just sleep cuddled up and they took care of nursing all by themselves.
Good luck

User - posted on 12/18/2012

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Mine was the exact same way. He had a very hard time settling back to sleep at night. I got a bit more sleep when I swaddled him (then he couldn't flail himself awake) in one of those sleep sacks that lets you swaddle just the top half.

You may want to check out the No Cry Sleep Solution. I liked it because it was very pro-breastfeeding, and it offers a lot of things to try and not the One Right Way. One other thing that works pretty well for us is using white noise to help keep him asleep. I have an old smartphone that I downloaded the app on to, and it really helps my son stay asleep.

Your son might also be going through a sleep regression: http://moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie/2006/02/...

Honestly, my son just loved to nurse. It was the best thing in the whole, wide world for him. He never wanted a paci, just to be all snuggly and full of warm milk. He might stay awake longer if you block nurse at night. Pick one breast, and nurse from it 3-4 times in a row. That way, he's getting all the fatty hindmilk, which may help him stay asleep longer.

Hope this helps. :) You can PM me if you want to.

Belinda - posted on 12/18/2012

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Actually,Sarah is giving you some good, solid, non anti-breastfeeding advice. You can breastfeed when he is hungry as opposed to when he is needing constant soothing or you can continue on as you are, sleep deprived and grumpy. Other options: put him in his own bed where he won't swim towards you and keep you awake; keep him in your bed if you wish but stop breastfeeding to soothe him all the time, allow him to learn how to soothe himself - this does not mean stop breastfeeding, it just means only feed him when hungry, especially in the middle of the night. To reach this goal consider dream feeds.

Good Luck!

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