Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tell me it will get better!

Ever since her bout with a ruptured ear drum and then a nasty cold/congestion, Zari has started nursing more and more frequently at night. I am tired! She was starting to have one longer sleep session, about 4-6 hours, then nurse about every 3 hours or so until she woke up. Now she'll maybe sleep for 2 hours, then nurse EVERY HOUR the rest of the night. And she's more restless than usual.

I know, you're probably thinking "growth spurt." But it's been like this for a long time. And she's not nursing more frequently during the day. Just at night. Which wears me out.

When my mom was visiting last week, she said "So Zari's sleeping through the night now, right?" I just laughed.

On another note, I went to the fabric store yesterday and bought lots more gorgeous fabrics for my slings. I'll post pictures at Second Womb Slings soon. I also wanted to make myself a few summer nursing dresses and tops. Ironically, it would probably be cheaper to buy them than to make them! I couldn't find any fabrics I liked for the clothes I wanted to make. There was one I could tolerate, but not for $15/yard.


  1. It will get better. Some day. I think this is just about the age that C started doing the same thing, and we had a LOT of trouble getting her to sleep. Our evenings and nights were horrid...and then I somehow miraculously got pg again! Um...have you tried having Eric take over sometimes when she wakes? Or put her on the far side of the bed, so he's between you and her? Can he settle her at all to go back to sleep? I wish I had definitive answers/suggestions...just keep trying different arrangements. Do you have a cradle you could try putting her in sometimes? Maybe distance from you would help her sleep (it worked for E anyway)? I sound anti-co-sleeping, which of course I'm NOT, but I realized with E that it's not all about my wishes - she just slept better alone after a certain point (4 mo I think). Good luck :)

  2. Actually, I think 4 months is when my middle one started sleeping by himself, too. We did co-sleeping fine up until that point, but I finally decided that I had to get some sleep. It helped some. Good luck, Rixa.

  3. Sorry, I’m not thinking “growth spurt,” I’m thinking “good-intentioned Mom messing up baby’s sleep.” I don’t get this co-sleeping thing. Is it good for the baby to wake up this often? Is it good for you to wake up that often? Is anyone getting enough sleep?

    Maybe it’s time to try something new…like the baby having her own space to sleep in. I think we do our kids a disservice when we don’t allow them to learn to sleep by themselves, to soothe themselves back to sleep and to learn that nighttime is for sleeping, only.

    All three of my kids, exclusively breastfed, have slept through the night (10 hours) from age 3-4 months. In a crib, in their own room, no crying (ok, maybe a minute or two, or even five(!) here or there, which I don’t think has scarred them for life).

    I recommend Marc Weisbluth's book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. He covers sleep needs from birth to 18.

  4. One way or another, it will get better. Shannon's way is one way too. Me and my 3 month old went roughly that way: I only had to try sleeping him away from me one night to discover (honestly to my greatest surprise) that he gets a lot more sleep that way. We had been waking each other up. We haven't shared a bed since then, except when we're away from home. Yes I do sneak to his bed at night to watch him sweetly sleep. I do miss the closeness but not as much as I used to miss my sleep :)
    I wasn't trying to sleep train him, he sleep trained me. It's worth a try with Zari!

  5. My baby was a big night nurser. I loved co-sleeping and being close to him, so it continued until he weaned. I wish I could tell you it gets better-- perhaps you'll get used to it if she continues. Be sure you are getting enough good nutritious foods and drinking lots of water- perhaps sneak a nap during the day with her.


  6. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. Frankly it hasn't all been like last night...just the last few days especially. Now I'm starting to feel like I'm coming down with something, so I wonder if that is also affecting her.

    Eric would be no help at night. He's such a heavy sleeper that I would have to shake him to wake him up, explain to him what I need him to do (probably more than once), and then I'd be awake the whole time anyway! So it's easier just to roll over and nurse her and stay half-asleep.

    I don't think it's a co-sleeping issue, since we're not big tossers and turners and our king sized bed leaves plenty of wiggle room for everyone.

    Daytime naps sound great, except that's when I write my dissertation. Otherwise I wouldn't get any writing done at all! Eric is so busy right now that he spends very little time with her, even though he's home a lot.

    Honestly I am tired but not terribly's just weird that the bout of illness kind of "reset" her internal clock.

    Part of it probably has to do with needing to pee as well. I've noticed that she gets really restless when she has to pee (towards the early morning hours) and if I take her to pee, she sleeps lots better afterward. Hey, it's the same for me.

  7. i can't promise it will improve, but i can assure you you can make it through each phase together. i know this can be hard to see sometimes when the phase isn't very pleasant. night nursing comes in waves, like weaning- slow and steady and one day at a time, things change. sometimes you are driving the change, sometimes your daughter is. it is a joint effort.

    re: co-sleeping. it isnt just a 'thing'. it is what our babies are designed to do. i am not trying to sound smug but it does upset me to hear that cosleeping is somehow new-fangled or indulgent. IMO it is all in the same bucket as babies that didnt like to nurse, couldnt stand to be in a baby carrier, hated to cosleep. sigh.


  8. Rixa,
    I do really understand about illness resetting a sleeping habit. My oldest was sleeping through the night at 4 months old. This continued until he was 9 months old, and started to have health problems. Bad ones. I think we finally got him to start sleeping through the night again at 18 months. I was exhausted, but he really was sick and did need to nurse during the night for comfort, nourishment, something... I hope you figure out what is bothering you two so you can both get better sleep. Good luck.

  9. Tabitha,

    i'm sorry; i'll apologize for calling co-sleeping a "thing," if you'll apologize for assuming that if i don't get co-sleeping, my kids must hate nursing. in fact, my three kids (and I) have loved (and are loving) nursing.

    (and they love the baby bjorn too, if that's the kind of carrier/sling you mean; i don't think you're referring to a car seat).

    i don't think co-sleeping is indulgent. i don't think that anything (EC included) that interferes with a baby getting a good night's sleep is indulgent. i would call that the opposite, rather.

  10. Kelley, i wasnt referring to you or your children- just the concepts involved in our culture- that cosleeping is not normal, that breastfeeding isnt, or babywearing. when in fact the survival of the human race has long depended on those three things. the idea that breast is extra, something you might do if you were a concerned mother only as long as you had to, is the same imo as the idea that cosleeping is something a child doesnt need. for my part, i believe cosleeping to be a nourishment as whole as breastmilk. i never said i was 'normal'!

    yes, i do apologize, if you thought i was attacking you. i certainly wasnt.


  11. now i need to apologize for replying to kelley instead of shannon. still drinking morning coffee! tabitha


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