Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sleep.. what's that like again??

I have an 8 month old that will not sleep. Let me just explain how most nights go....

Eli goes to sleep sometime around 8:30-9:00pm-ish. I usually nurse him to sleep with no problems. And since I'm a night-owl, I go to bed around 12ish (I'm TRYING to work on that, last night I made it to bed around 11:30pm but after feeding Eli and getting him to sleep it was 12am... ). Eli knows when I get in bed, Remember we are living in my parent's house so he doesn't have his own room. I have moved him from the co sleeper ( 4 nights ago I came into our room and he was sitting up in it!!) to the crib but we're still in the same room. So, he nurses around midnight and then pretty much he's up every 1.5 to 2 hours until around 8am. Seriously. He's EIGHT months old. I might also add that I swaddle him after I nurse him for the night. Sometimes he stays swaddled but most of the time he doesn't after he gets up for the first time. Not only does he get up a thousand times (it seems) he is so restless. He's just a very fidgety. So, if I put him in the bed with me he just squirms and the Hubs and I do not sleep! I'm not against him sleeping with us if he would be still!! Needless to say, I am tired. I am ready to sleep...

I've tried getting him to go back to sleep without nursing him, thinking that maybe he's not really hungry. But I've always felt like I needed to feed him every time he gets up because he's always been so small (nevertheless, it never works... he just cries, so I nurse him). He's a tiny little guy and so I feel like he needs every little drop he gets! Not to mention that he's still not a big eater. He only gets about 2-3 TBS of oatmeal mixed with fruit twice a day and he doesn't even eat all of that sometimes. He eats Cheerio's every once and a while too. Maybe he would eat more during the day if he wasn't nursing so often at night? But when I don't nurse him, he cries, so I just nurse.

Here is how last night went (which, btw, was actually a little better than the previous nights). The Hubs went upstairs around 11:15pm and I was eating a bowl of Cinnamon Pecan Special K (I was starving, ok??) with Silk. He whispered downstairs that Eli was awake so I went upstairs, brushed my teeth and washed my face, while the Hubs rocked him. It was around 11:30 when I got to him. I fed him and rocked him, then reswaddled him and laid him down around midnight. Sometime around 2am, he woke up. I went over to get him out of his crib and he had one arm out and both legs out of the swaddler and he was on his stomach! (Looks like we'll be getting rid of the swaddler soon, too) So, I fed him and then held him. This is when I typically fall asleep. I've always fed him in the bed propped up with pillows. I've never been able to nurse him lying down. Anyway, he usually goes back to sleep while I hold him, cradled. Here lately though, he's wanted to roll over face down on my chest with his head next to my armpit (haha) and his legs hanging off down towards my waist. Basically laying diagonally across me!! Now, that is comfort at it's best! Can you sense the sarcasm?? He's just getting to big to hold and be comfy at the same time. So, I just let him do it... at this point, whatever works. So, I fall asleep and wake up around 3am and he's sound asleep. So, I put him in the crib, just hoping he might stay there for a while. I woke up around 4:30am to him fussing a little. I decided to just see what he would do. Well, I guess I fell back asleep and he did too because a few minutes after 5, I woke up to him screaming. So, I fed him and we both fell asleep until about 7:15am, we then went back to sleep until about 8:30am. I so want to get up around 7am every morning. I do. But I just can't do it. So, if he goes back to sleep, then I go back to sleep. I feel so lazy doing it this way but I need every bit of sleep I can get.

Interjection: I know there are some of you out there saying, well, just go to bed earlier. Like I said, I am working on that. But I might add that anytime I have made it to bed earlier, Eli wakes up when I get in bed and the 1.5-2 hour cycle starts. It seems that whatever time he gets up for that first time, whether it be 10:30pm or 12am, it starts that routine. Not to mention that after the kids get in bed I just need some time to myself and some time with my husband! :)

I'm just at a loss at what to do. I desperately want him to be a good sleeper!!! I just don't know how to get to that point! I'm praying.. and being patient.

I'm not really asking for advice, unless someone out there holds the secret to getting an 8 month old who really likes to nurse and be near momma all night long, to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time (please, oh please let there be someone out there with that secret!)..... I just wanted to vent a little! So, thanks for letting me!


Sherilyn -Dominee Huisvrouw said...

I feel your PAIN! My son was a HORRIBLE sleeper & nursed every 45 minutes until we finally put our foot down when he was 6 months old.

I'm not saying this is how to do it, I'm just saying here's what worked for us. First we read lots of books & tried a million different methods, none of which worked. Asher was also a swaddled baby, so I was worried he'd be 14 & need some huge swaddle thing!

We decided that he really didn't NEED to eat that often, he just liked to, he was going about 4 hours during the day, so we figured he should be able to go that long at night too. I decided I wasn't going to go into his room until that 4 hour mark, even if that meant he cried for 3 hours.

The first night was AWFUL! He cried TONS! But he got it by about the 3rd day, that we weren't going to budge. Since he wasn't tanking up on milk all night, he started eating better during the day too.

The only book that really helped us was "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child" by Marc Weisbluth.

I'll be praying for your sleep situation & that Eli starts sleeping better for you. I've been there & I know it's not alot of fun.