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Thread: Losing it - Breastfeeding and day sleep problems

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Melbourne
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    Default Losing it - Breastfeeding and day sleep problems

    Hi everyone,

    I haven't posted on BB much since DS was born - he's an enormous amount of work, I just don't have time to foster the relationships like I did, but I do still read.



    DS is 4 months old, co sleeps at night, or does the first stint in his cot and then bed with us. He doesn't wake to party at night, he's pretty good at going back to sleep. It's not unusual to have him sleep 9pm to 2.30 or even 3.30. Obviously he can sleep long stretches, come up from one sleep cycle and put himself into the next one. Why oh why can't he do this during the day?

    At the moment I'm spending at least an hour, sometimes significantly more, to get him to sleep 45 mins 3 times a day. When I hear that "aheh" after 45 mins I just want to cry By the end of the day he looks like a crack addict! Red eyes, jerky arms, it's just awful.

    He's been like this for a while. Every so often he will do 1.5 hours on one nap - maybe once a week. Usually this is if the nap co incides with a walk in the pram.

    Our sleep routines are all over the place. I start out doing the "right" thing (kiss, cuddle, goodnight leave room, return as soon as he cries and repeat), but after an hour it degenerates into "anything i can do to get you to sleep" (draping hair on his face, kisses around eyes, patting the mattress, patting him, boobs to sleep in our bed - never the same thing twice in a row). I put him down as soon as I notice tired signs, like rubbing face etc.

    He's breastfed with some solids play once a day. Lately he's extremely fussy during his day feeds. It's all I can do to make the feed last 10-15 mins - that's 2 boobs. He arches his back, cries "neh" (hungry!). Conversely his night feeds are peaceful long affairs.

    Can anyone offer any insight? I'm at my wits end - when he's awake he's pretty intense and requires a lot of in your face attention, so when he's asleep is my only chance to do stuff, like eat, washing that kind of thing.

    Has my supply disappeared, and is he waking all the time out of hunger? I just don't know where to turn. We did a one day sleep program, and for 2 days he slept 3x 2 hour naps, and then somehow caught on and would have none of it. I called QEC for advice and they said leave him to resettle himself after he wakes. Problem is he doesn't cry when he wakes, he's in the cot playing (but yawning, so obviously still tired).

    So sorry for the rambly long post. I guess it's an accurate reflection of my state of mind right now.

    Tish
    xx

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Oh hun, huge hugs. I am so with you on this one, except my DD sleep cycle is only 30mins.

    She is also a co-sleeper, and sleeps for good stretches at night, but in the day I can spend 1.5 hrs of settling for a 30min nap!!! (and she has about 5 of these! Argghhh)

    I'm not sure if this is the advice you're looking for, but I decided to give myself a week off the whole sleep affair and just do whatever it takes to get her to nap (i.e. straight for the boobs/pram/car/sling instead of trying to establish a good pattern).

    Once you've let it go a little you may have more energy to figure out how to solve it.

    I have just hired a baby hammock in the hope I can resettle DD by bouncing her. I will let you know if its a success.

    If you leave DS in the cot when he wakes up, will he resettle himself, or work up to a cry?

    Good luck...its so tiring when they don't sleep!!!!
    Last edited by Arcadia; March 17th, 2009 at 06:29 PM.

  3. #3

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    This is very normal behaviour . Babies sleep in cycles that are usually 30 - 45 minutes long (both my boys had a 40 minute cycle), at the end of the cycle they go into light sleep and can have trouble going back into a deep sleep (next cycle) so they wake up and cry. It is soooo frustrating and I feel your pain because I went through it with both my boys!

    With DS2 the trick that eventually worked for us was for me to go into his room a few minutes before his 40 minute cycle was about to end (there was a lot of clock watching LOL) and watch him. As soon as he stirred (my DS would sigh and move his head) I would start patting his tummy gently to help him fall back into deep sleep. This would usually work for at least one of his 3 naps a day and eventually over time he worked out how to sleep more than one cycle which was wonderful .

    With DS1 he spent his day naps in a baby hammock so as soon as I heard him wake from a sleep cycle I would go into his room and gently bounce his hammock until he went back to sleep again (I would stand back so he couldn't see me and wake up more), he too eventually learned how to go back to sleep himself.

    This kind of method does take time and patience, but it is well worth it once they learn how to put themselves back to sleep. They begin waking up happy because they've had a good sleep and they are happier during their wake time too.

    I hope you and your bub get some more rest soon .

  4. #4

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    Jan 2009
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    Your story could be my story... except my boy is 6 months old! I so hear you on how frustrating this can be! Today I was going absolutely bananas! Our day was 30 mins of settling for 1 45 min sleep, then 1 hour for 1 45 mins sleep, then another hour for 1 sleep which he woke up after 20 mins!!

    The other have given great advice... when it all gets too hard with DS yes I sometimes just put him in the sling or carrier and go out for a walk... he used to fall asleep that way, now he sometimes will have a 20 min nap which is better than nothing, but at least we both get out of the house and I don't go crazy, and he is usually happy being carried around, even if he is tired.

    I have been trying for the last 1.5 weeks to see if I can get him napping better but I think I need a break!

    Trish's suggestion of going in at 40 mins to resettle straight away, before they really wake up, is a good one too- this used to work for us but lately I've found he will wake up really quickly and once he sees me he's wide awake so it doesn't work any more. He also occasionally will sleep through a cycle (during the day) and have a 1.5 or 2 hour sleep (maybe once a week!) so I know he can do it and don't want to muck things up if he is going to sleep through. I boob him to sleep- and only boob him- so maybe thats why it doesn't work- I can't get the boob in his mouth without him seeing me! Have been reading No Cry Nap Solution and thinking maybe I need to stop feeding to sleep, but that just seems like such a HUGE change to make and I'm not ready to do that. DS has been sleeping on our bed (mattress on the floor so it's ok if he rolls off) as I feed him on the bed but maybe I will get the hammock out again so I can try the bouncing thing....

    Like you my DS sleeps pretty good at night- be grateful for small mercies! LOL I think he has a very good "body clock" in terms of reacting to night and day- so maybe that's why our little boys don't sleep so good in the day, cos they know the night is for sleeping? Just trying to put a positive spin on it.

    The other thing that stuck out in your post for me was your DS being a fussy feeder during the day. My DS is still a pretty distractable feeder- feeds great at night, but during the day he has to either feed in the carrier, sometimes moving around, or lying down in the darkened bedroom with me and no one else around. He still latches on and off about 30 times each feed and now he can roll thinks it's great to feed a bit, roll over to the other side, have me bring him back, and feed again. Of course he gets very overtired by the end of that!

    But previous to this we went through a stage of real breast refusal- extreme fussiness, it followed months of undiagnosed reflux which we finally got sorted but even once the pain was fixed the breast refusal continued for a while because he associated feeding with pain. He always still fed good at night though, because apparently they are in a more "instinctive" state at that time. I spoke to an ABA counsellor about breast refusal and got a copy of their booklet on the topic and it was quite helpful. He was still refusing and difficult to feed for at least a month, but now is much better.

    It might be worth a) considering the possibility of reflux- as this can affect feeding and sleeping- although usually it's present from birth, so if he's only started to get fussy lately, it's probably not that or b) getting some tips from ABA about breast refusal- things like feeding in the bath, offering the boob more often, minimising distractions- helped us.

    Big hugs to you!

  5. #5

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    Thanks everyone for your replies. Trish I tried your tip of going in a few mins before 40 mins was up, and the little bugger was already awake, just not crying yet! So I just sat with him through his whole nap and got him to stay asleep for 1.75hrs!! Not very practical, but maybe he'll learn to do this on his own soon. Scarily I realise he may have been getting even less sleep than I realised!

    Mumiloo do you co sleep? DS seems to have a very good grasp of night vs day, and I think co sleeping is what did this for us. I've tried a few times lying down with him during the day but this doesn't really work (OTOH I do get a little nap ). We are doing No Cry Sleep Solution too (by doing I mean I've read it hehe haven't gotten any further yet...) and I'm weaning myself off feeding to sleep and have relented and given him a dummy. Not a track I wanted to go down, but it seems to work a bit and we'll deal with that problem later!

    I took him to the doctor last week and they said it's unlikely to be reflux since he's gaining weight so well. He did have colicky type issues when he was younger, and we thought reflux for a while but gaviscon didn't really seem to help. I'll take a look into the breast refusal thing, I didn't realise that's what was going on here though I had heard of it.

    Do you think it's possible he's just getting his food out quickly? Like I said, he's steadily gaining weight.

    Thanks so much girls for your invaluable help

    Just in case anyone else is in a similar situation, something else I did in a moment of frustration was swaddle him again (in his cot sheet no less LOL). I did get 2 days of asleep inside 20 mins, which is a big improvement on a few hours. Unfortunately, as with most of my tricks he has cottoned on and it's not working anymore. I guess I'll just have to come up with something else!

    Thanks everyone

    Tish
    xx

  6. #6

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    Just reading through the this thread looking for ideas to increase my little ones day sleeps and i thought i might mention re reflux and weight gain. DS weight gain has been really good and consistent since birth he has reflux but doesnt throw up just brings it up into his throat and back down, (you can hear him coughing/gagging sometimes) so although he doesnt lose weight he found feeding quite painful cause it would burn hid throat on the the way back up, of course then he'd want to feed again cause the milk on the way down soothed it made for some very frustrating days/weeks before we figured out what was wrong. so anyway what i meant to say was that reflux might still be the issue despite good weight gain

    Edit: i also meant to say that mylanta didn't really help much but zantac seems to be doing the trick oh and we to did not have a dummy but introduced one and noticed a difference..... found out afterwards that the dummy is helping by a)soothing him through sucking and b) the sucking action helps to keep the reflux down
    Last edited by mir; March 25th, 2009 at 02:00 PM. Reason: because my brain is mush

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