Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hard habit to break

See, she can sleep when she wants to—and even looks positively angelic when she does it. So why, then, did last night look like this?

9:30-ish, fell asleep after (not while) nursing
11 woke up
11:30 fell asleep after nursing
12:15 woke up
12:30 fell asleep to singing
1:15 woke up
2:15 fell asleep after an hour of rocking, singing, swaying
3:00 woke up
3:15 fell asleep after nursing
4:00 woke up
5:15 fell asleep after rocking, singing, swaying
5:30 woke up
7:00 fell asleep after rocking, singing, swaying, nursing, Greg holding her in the sling
7:30 woke up to nurse and finally slept for a 3-hour stretch

Last night was our first attempt at breaking the nurse-to-sleep association, and as you can see it didn't go too well. Her general trend of the past few weeks has been to nurse more and more frequently at night, resulting in a more-or-less endless nursing session from bedtime until morning. It makes for contented baby, but an achy, cranky, eye-bagged mama. However, if we have a few more nights of this, the nonstop nurse-fests will start to look like a day at the spa.

Any advice on how to shut down the milkstore at night without harsh (cry-it-out–type) methods? Because I'm about three nights past my breaking point.


Christina said...

My mom was JUST telling the story of how my brother Bryan did this exact same thing. Unfortunately, she did use the cry-it-out method :( (the good news is - Bryan is now 15 and appears to be normal :) ). However, she couldn't handle the crying, so my dad is the one who stayed up the two nights it took to finally break the habit. My mom hid in her room and cried. I couldn't help but laugh when she told the story, since B was her SEVENTH child. How she got six who didn't give her the same problem is amazing.

That probably wasn't very much help, but I'll send good thoughts your way and hopefully you'll have good news to post soon!

Mark and Sarah said...

Ouch!!! That hurts. My only advice (since my 11 month old still wakes up to nurse at night, but only 1-2x) is that maybe an earlier bedtime would help. I've read (and experienced) that earlier (read: 6:30-7pm) bedtime often results in decreased wake-ups. I'm not sure if the 9:30pm bedtime you posted is normal, or a one-off, but try an earlier bedtime and enjoy those extra few hours alone too! I'm not going to try to get T to stop nursing at night since it's not too often, until I wean him. Otherwise I just feel like a mean old mama and very inconsistent. Email me if you want to chat more :)

Mark and Sarah said...

Oh, and i agree with Christina. When T is weaned, I'm going to send Dad in there to take care of him at night because I've heard they stop waking up for dad cuz he's not as cuddly as mama.

Deirdre said...

Thanks, ladies. I should have noted that the 9:30 bed time was after 2.5 hours of trying to get her down. I'm currently listening to her wail as Greg tries to put her down, 1.5 hours after I first started trying.


Stormy said...

I put Caleb in his crib in his room and set a time limit - somewhere between 15-30 minutes - that I would let him cry. It was really, really hard, but most times he'd stop crying before we reached the time.

cathy said...

Oh that is so hard!!! I know you don't like the cry it out method, but you are replacing the feeding on demand with holding and swaying on demand. She still may wake up just as much and need you to hold her until she is back to sleep. I had to use the cry it out method with my kids because that's the only thing that really worked. I know there are great books out there about helping your child sleep through the night. I hope you find something that helps. Keep taking care of yourself!

Alicia said...

Oh D, that play by play look very familiar...ah, the memories of Benjamin's infancy (and ok, toddlerhood, who am I kidding?!) I'm sorry she is putting you through with the ringer with sleep!

ShannonC said...

I wouldn't normally respond as I'm not a BTDT regarding nursing, but: Since you asked and my 2 nephews had similiar issues I'll throw out a couple tidbits for thought.

-How long have you been nursing?
- Are you eating enough and the right things? (I only say that cause my SIL ended up malnourished & kiddos weren't getting what they needed either)
-Are you sure the milk is flowing easily enough?
In their case it was 2 out of three of these and the kids were working so hard to get milk they were tiring them selves out and falling asleep before filling the belly. Upon switching to bottle or pump/bottle the even had to get the step up easy flow nipples cause they were so hungry and their sucking was pretty intense by that point.

It's probly none of these things in your case, but it was something to think about anyway. Good luck and throwing some sleepy zzz's your way!