Friday, December 28, 2012

The Night Time Nurser

From discussing baby nap sleeping to baby night sleeping.

The naps are getting better guys, SO much better.

MOST days he manages a 1-2 hour nap followed by half hour naps for the rest of the day.

But I'll take it because I believe he'll gradually continue to take longer naps and squeeze a few short ones out of the need to rush, as long as I see it improving I'm fine to let it happen on it's own.

Now...on to nighttime sleeping.

Here's my situation:

We co-sleep.  I loved co-sleeping when it helped us get more sleep and we both stayed in bed all night without getting up.  Even if he fed often it wasn't that disruptive.  BUT something has changed recently and more often than not nighttime feedings are followed by a screaming baby who requires a burping, which means...I have to get up out of bed.

If I have to get up out of bed for nighttime nursing then the baby might as well be in his own bed.  The ONLY benefit to baby sharing the bed is never getting up in the middle of the night.

Ok, there's the suppressed fertility as well, but I'm not looking for (or holding out hope for) baby to sleep over 5 hours...if I can get a night with more than one 3-hour stretch I would call it a success.

So not only are night nursing sessions not working anymore but Baby Jett also likes to feed EVERY HOUR from about 4-5am onward until he either spits up because he's been eating so much or it's time to get up for the day sometime between 8-9am.  No amount of shushing and patting from me will convince him that he wants anything other than MORE MILK MOM!  If he doesn't get it we get more crying!

We used to survive the night with NO CRYING whatsoever which was part of why I loved co-sleeping so much.  But NOW THERE'S LOTS OF CRYING.

Something isn't working anymore.

One thing I've learned as a mom, if something isn't working and you are resenting it...CHANGE IT!

So something has to change.

While here in Oregon where we have no crib Dom has started taking baby downstairs to sleep with him on the couch from about 6-7am onward because BABY DOESN'T NEED TO EAT EVERY HOUR and what do you know, when baby isn't next to me he sleeps just fine and doesn't wake up to eat.

So, NEW GOAL for 2013 is get baby to sleep in his crib for at least part of the night.

Here's where I need some help...

I've tried to start this several times.  I want to put the baby down in his own bed to start the night and then bring him into bed with me after his first nighttime feeding, keep him there through the 2nd feeding and then stick him back in his own bed again after the 2nd feeding with the hope that if he's not next to mama he won't keep waking up thinking he's hungry because 2 feedings at night should be plenty.  And OMG what if we had 3 hours between each feeding?!  Or dare I dream for more?!

But BABY WILL NOT STAY DOWN at the beginning of the night until mama is in bed with him.  I've tried moving his bedtime earlier and I've tried moving his bedtime later trying to figure out if he just wasn't ready for bed yet or if he was overtired etc etc.  But no matter when I try to put him down he will continue to wake up every 15-30 minutes until I finally give up and take him to bed with me and lay down next to him.  Often it doesn't even require anything more than that, no extra nursing or cuddling there's just something about mama being in the bed with him that finally settles him.

I both love and hate this at the same time.

I love the silent still sleeping baby next to me when I go to sleep.  

I hate that I don't have any evening time to myself, or with my husband, because he needs constant attention until I go to bed.  I am starting to resent this part thus...time to change it.

To add insult to injury he's also not improving the night time feeds.

Last night I don't think I even had a 2 hour stretch.


So, somebody help me!

How do I get my baby to fall asleep and stay asleep NOT in bed with me?!?!?!

We have a bedtime routine that starts after his last cat nap of the day.  We take a bath, we put jammies on, we have a little play time to get any extra energy out, we read a book or two, we nurse and then we wait for signs of tiredness, yawns, rubbing eyes or fussiness and then we put him down.

What we get is a baby who thinks this is just another nap and we're back in the bedroom trying to get him back to sleep after half an hour.

Things we've tried to get him to stay asleep:

Daddy putting baby to bed.
Mama nursing him to sleep in the big bed and then sneaking away.
No swaddling.
Belly sleeping both in crib and in the big bed.
Bedtime anywhere between 7 and 10pm.

I need help.  What do you guys do to get your baby to fall asleep at night?  And how do you get them to STAY ASLEEP???

I should add, Baby Jett is right around the 4 month sleep regression age if you adjust his age from his early arrival.  He also has just learned how to roll from his back to his belly.  I know that 4 months sucks for baby sleeping and I know that new skills can disrupt sleep, PERHAPS that is all this is and next week he will go back to normal nighttime sleeping or maybe next week he will go down in his crib.  Either way I'd love baby sleep solutions anyway!


  1. Well I clearly have no idea how to help - but good luck!! I guess this is what I have to look forward to?

  2. Do you all use a pacifier? The early in the morning feeding sounds to me like he is sucking for comfort. Iyla gets fussy when laid in bed until she has a pacifier- which promptly gets spit out the moment she is in a DEEP sleep. It took awhile to find a pacifier she actually liked -and the Soothies brand wins! Particularly the Wannanub kind that can be propped up. Worth trying if you don't use one already!

    1. He's not really into pacifiers. He likes to chew on them more than he likes to suck on them. We've tried, he just doesn't seem to be a pacifier kind of baby.

  3. Also, since I know Jett spits up- he may prefer to sleep on an incline, and if you don't have a Rock n Play it might be worth trying that to put him to sleep in? THat is what we are currently doing since I think Iyla might have silent reflux.

    1. He doesn't actually spit up anymore, that was the dairy. He just spits up because he's had SO much to eat that his belly can't handle anymore food =) He's definitely just taking it because it's there next to him, when he's not next to me he's fine but him sleeping on the couch with my husband in the morning is not the solution I'm looking for and he refuses to sleep on his own in the crib!

  4. Jesica that would be SO HARD! It's hard enough to feel normal during the day when you are sleep deprived ...but every night would kill me! Every baby is so different so it's hard to offer any advice. Have you tried letting him cry it out the first time he goes down to bed? I only let Deklan cry it out for about 20 minutes (if he needs it) but that wares him out and he is usually out for the night now. For three nights in a row (sounds harsh) but I turned the monitor off and just came in at about 5 am. Once he was crying- the other two times he was fine. Since then he sleeps all the way through the night...except last night since he has a fever. Might be worth a try for your own sanity! Not gonna lie though it's hard knowing they COULD be crying in the other room. But it was SOOOOO worth it! Good luck lady :)

  5. Do you put him down while he's drowsy but still awake? That was key for us. We coslept for 6 months, and when we moved her to her crib, that was SOOOO important (b/c with cosleeping - they fall asleep next to you and wake up next to you so it's comfortable and familiar and they go back to bad - in the crib, if they fall asleep in your arms/on your breast and then wake up alone in the crib, it's disconcerting, so of course they're freaked out and cry and wake themselves up more instead of settling back to sleep).

    When we transitioned, at first it was in the crib until 1am, then cosleeping until morning...but sleep for her really didn't get better until she was used to sleeping alone all night (or more importantly, used to putting herself back to sleep at night without me next to her - albeit with nursing sessions in the rocker at 1am and 5am and then just once a night for awhile). Now if she wakes up at 5am once a week, I'll bring her into bed to nurse and sleep for a bit, but she doesn't expect it, and that's the difference (I think). is BY FAR the best sleep resource i found. not against co-sleeping, not against CIO (which we tried for a hot minute and hated)...but lots of great info. check it out!

  6. I don't have anything to offer, but I just wanted to say I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. I'm starting to think about getting our little guy to sleep in his own bed. I've had a couple successful nights (out of 4 months) getting him to sleep the first couple of hours in his bed next to ours, but not more than that. And now that I've learned his recent fussines could be due to regression sleeping around 4 months, I'm thinking I'll wait a bit before trying to move him to his own bed. Besides, we still need a mattress for his crib (we have a smaller bed next to our own).
    Good luck! I'll be reading all the replies.

  7. Ahh! I can't believe you still haven't gotten a decent stretch of sleep :( :( I have no advice, just sending you good thoughts!

  8. Not sure if its any help but I'll share what we do. Every night he falls asleep on the breast. I then slide him over while I'm laying on my back, I put him sort of sitting on his feet/butt next to me and then lay him up over my stomach. Its not a huge incline but its enough that when I gently pat his back he stays asleep but will get the burps out (without me having to get up and fully wake up) and after a while I moved him over to the co sleeper. I'm a big fan of it because he's not in bed with us taking up my space... I like my space... And maybe far enough to not constantly smell me but he is close enough that I can sleep with my hand on him if need be. Right now we're feeding twice on the night... And on 2 occasions only once which was amazing.

    If you don't try a cosleeper, what about having your hubby sleepy with Jett on his side of the bed after the first feed? A little further away From the boob but still close enough for easy access?

    Hope things get better really soon!

  9. Ok, this is totally up to you because its controversial... but Austin was a very strong baby so I tried it without worrying much. I put a sleeve from my bathrobe that I had cut off in the crib with him. He could smell me, so it was like I was there.. Again, totally up to what you feel comfortable with because its putting something loose in the crib with baby, but I really think this helped Austin start crib sleeping... I hope you find something that works!