Sleep-deprived and at my wits' end. Please help :'(

Emily - posted on 12/02/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )




Hi mums. I have a 13-month old breastfed baby girl who wakes up every hour of the night and will only resettle if I put a boob in her mouth. I have not slept in over a year and am physically suffering because of chronic fatigue.

A little background: baby does not take any other form of milk at all but is actively weaned. She gets her dairy from sources like cheese, yogurt smoothies etc. She only breastfeeds before napping or going to bed at night. Otherwise I'm not feeding her, so my milk supply has fallen and adjusted accordingly.

I have followed Pantley's pull-out and it works so she can dislodge before sleeping. BUT SHE STILL WANTS THE BREAST AN HOUR LATER! Also, for the past 4 days, I've been trying to break the feed-sleep association by feeding her while sitting and then holding/rocking her to sleep before transferring her into the family bed. We're a co-sleeping family but now I want to shift her into her own cot.

MY PLAN is to transition along these lines: 1.feeding/rocking to sleep--> 2. feeding/no rocking, just holding--> 3. feeding/putting-down-while-awake-> 4. no feeding/putting-down-while-awake.

Is there something wrong with what I'm doing and do I need to change things? Will it work? Can I do something to get earlier results but without having to cry-it-out?

I need your thoughts desperately; I'm getting regular fevers because of fatigue now. My DH is a doctor and works long hours; I cannot ask him to pitch in much in the middle of the night as he has to get up and leave early too. Thanks.


Dove - posted on 12/02/2012




My son didn't night wean til he was 2... and day wean til 3, so all I have to say is just do what you have to in order to get some sleep. I found w/ my son that when he was old enough to reason w/ (somewhat) and understand.... night weaning was a breeze. I DID start talking to him about it by a year and a half, but didn't attempt to have any results til around 2. Took a while, but since it happened when HE was ready.... there was no crying at all.

Katherine - posted on 12/02/2012




Right now do what you have to do to get some sleep. If that means waiting to transition her to a bed then do it. I think your plan is great. It may take a minute though. In the mean time just try to get sleep! Does that make sense? My daughters never slept either. I had them sleep with me, and I still do. Otherwise I would never sleep. I can't afford to be stressed out about it right now, so I just let them sleep in my bed. Further on down the road I plan to get them in their own beds.


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Emily - posted on 12/02/2012




Thank you, KC .... your reply hits closest to home. I know I need to try and get some sleep in while DD is napping during the day. But that is not a long-term solution to night weaning methinks.

My DD goes to sleep very well following her pre-bedtime routine. So my biggest problem right now is all those night wakings AFTER she has gone to sleep.

"I think your plan is great. It may take a minute though" --> Thank you for this; I don't have anyone to seek affirmation from over my plan and this is a huge morale booster. x

Katie Lee - posted on 12/02/2012




I think feeding should be the first thing you cut. At 13 months old, it is now important for her to develop self soothing techniques. I did this with my son when he was 9 months old to stop the feedings at night. I let him cry it out. First I did it at night, it only took two weeks for him to stop waking up in the middle of the night. When that happened, I started putting him down awake, that took a week to adjust then another week for nap time. So one month and my son was sleep trained. He's great now, actually loves going to his bed.

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