25,000-29,999 SparkPoints 28,870

Baby doesn't sleep - and other ventings

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Is ventings even a word? I am a writer and a copy editor. Pre-baby I would have known this, or at least looked it up. And I wouldn't question myself if it's "copy editor" or "copyeditor" which I always did forget.

My baby is 20 weeks old. Just shy of 5 months. He sleeps like a newborn. Up almost constantly. My limbs feel like they are on fire I am so tired. I made a special appointment with the pediatrician for advice. Tried it all. That doesn't work either. Against my better judgement I introduced solid foods - "it'll help him sleep through the night" 'they' say. (I had wanted to exclusively breastfeed for six months, per AAP and WHO guidelines.) We have a solid nighttime routine. We have supplemented with daddy giving him a bottle of breastmilk as his meal before bed. Same result. He's up 2 or 3 hours later, no matter what. And wants to be fed!

He is a delightful, joyful little boy. All smiles, lots of laughing. Incredibly physical - started rolling over back-to-belly at 10 weeks and has got a mean yoga "downward dog" position (that is his way of trying to crawl, but he gets stuck, understandably so.) So he's not cranky from lack of sleep (mommy is!). He just doesn't sleep long stretches at night. He goes to bed without a fight, wakes up to eat, goes back to sleep and the cycle continues. In the morning he coos at me to wake me up.

My limbs are on fire. I am forgetful. At times I am downright nasty. I haven't cooked a meal in weeks. I still have a maid service come and clean my house every 2 weeks, despite the fact that I am home most of the time. (I do not share that with people in my real life, I am so embarrassed.) I struggle to keep my empathy toward others. I'm jealous of friends' whose babies sleep through the night. I don't have the energy to exercise - yet exercise makes me feel better. What a Catch-22.

I went back to work last week, part time. Thank God. I can barely survive day to day working just 10 hours a week, there is no way I could survive full time.

During the day I am getting nothing accomplished. At least if I feel like crud, I had been able to keep up with the house - it would make me feel better that things are in their place. Now the baby is clingy and crying during the day and wants to be held through a nap. Thank you, mother-in-law, for introducing that bad habit in the one week she's watched him. Now nightime and daytime are both unproductive.

I absolutely adore this little boy more than words can say. I don't like when people complain on social networks about their kids - won't the kids see it one day? People who have babies who slept through the night at 6 weeks, 2 months, 3 months, even 4 months just don't understand. I am going on five months. This is a special type of torture. His doctor can't help. My friends don't understand. My mom and hubby's mom are not helpful. In fact, they grate on my last nerve at times. No, mom, he's not starving and it's not because I'm breastfeeding. He has fat rolls and is in the 66% for weight. He's fine. No, MIL, it's not because he hasn't had cereal. In fact, after we introduced cereal he was up every 2 hours instead of 3!

I completely lost my train of thought in this ramble.

I never share my real name on Spark, so I feel like I can vent without anyone knowing exactly who I am venting about. I would never share this on FB. Two Spark friends know my real name, so when Tabby and Bombchell read this just forget you know who I am for a second. lol.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Jersey Girl,

    I have three beautiful daughters but my last baby was colicky and cried constantly, it grated on my nerves b/c my other girls did not do that. She was eating constantly as she was only breastfeeding and refused to take a bottle of breastmilk. I was tired beyond belief and had a husband that drove truck at that time, might as well been single. It was difficult with my last one and I would never go back. I love her with all my heart but she cried so much it tore at me. I was tired and I had to work too full time b/c I had to provide for my family. She was a preemie and that too scared me. I only share this with you because I understand it. Do I have a good solution, no but please know I am here if you need to talk.

    If he sleeps during the day do you take a nap too? I also use to nurse my youngest in bed, when I felt her finish I carried her back to her crib and crawled back into bed myself to go back to sleep. Finally she got to the point of only waking up once a night for a feeding but it lasted till I weaned her at 14 months and by that time she weaned herself.

    1712 days ago
  • SUGIRL06
    1713 days ago
    Its a been a while BUT...I REMEMBER. First...don't feel bad.

    There are lots of good things we all can say about our beloved children. Just because we don't always say something glowing doesn't mean we don't love them more than we do ourselves.

    With that said...for me, exhausted wasn't the words. I was very young and totally unprepared. I had NO IDEA. And I tell you WHAT...age has nothing to do with it. TIRED is TIRED at any age.

    The first was a crier. But HOLD ON...I got pregnant with my first two within 6 months.
    The second didn't cry as much. She made up for not crying by misbehaving throughout life.

    The third was just a normal baby. By then I was divorced BUT I understood THE TRUE MEANING OF FAMILY. I let the two older ones HELP OUT. THAT really helped to share in the duties.

    In 2-3 blinks your little bundle with be a crawler...then toddler.
    I have three and my oldest is 25 y/o. If anyone would have told me the time would fly as it has I would have called that person a liar. :)
    1725 days ago
    I'm so sorry! It is such a delicate balance with little ones. I know with my daughter sleep was almost none existent for about 3 or 4 months all together because SHE WOULD ONLY SLEEP ON MY CHEST...ONLY! She'd nap a little in her swing but did not like, in fact hated, sleeping on her back or next to me. She would pitch a fit unless she slept right on top. Of course my pedi told me that this was not safe but it was safe due to the fact that I never slept. I let her sleep and I'd be only dosing off a few minutes throughout the night. We moved her to a nap nanny at about 2.5months and she slept in that for about a month. Then she got sick and would let her sleep on me to comfort her. That lasted for a whole month before I had to ween her from that. We started off by lying her next to me. Even if she cried, I would just side craddler her and reassure her that she was fine. Then once she got used to that we started putting her in her crib. That took lots of picking up and rocking when she'd wake up crying because she couldn't feel me next to her. Then finally she would lay down with out all the hoopla.She is going on 6months next Wednesday and more often than not she wakes up atleast once a night. I can rock her back to sleep but sometimes she'd like a bottle. I'm usually a tired mess at work. So I feel for you, dear! I hope he starts resting better for you. Does he sleep in a crib or in bed with you? I know when Eliana slept next to me she could smell the breast milk and thought it was an all night milk fest! She'd wake up to feed every 30mins.
    1725 days ago
    Oh do I remember those days well. My son was never a good sleeper he is going to turn 3 in March and I would say 12 months ago he finally sleeps through the whole night. It was pure torture not sleeping, keeping up with the house (not really haha), and working full time. I also had a thyroid condition I had no knowledge of that caused even more exhaustion and other crap.

    I sometimes felt like I wasn't mentally there becasue I was so tired and exhausted I LOVE my son to pieces but it was so hard for months. I know it feels bad right now but this time will pass. I don't really have any advice because honestly I tried everything and sometimes they worked and sometimes things didn't.

    Just do the best you can and if you can, get help. Sometimes I would sleep right after work and my husband would watch my son, I would wake up around 9/10 pm and take the night shift. It's not perfect or ideal but at least sometimes I got a little unintereupted sleep.

    1725 days ago
    Oh my gosh, I was going to add to all the advice you've just gotten! Ha Ha! Okay, but I guess I'm going to anyway. I have had some education on this. It is part of my job educating people about babies and sleep, among other things, and you're my friend so I'm going to get even more detailed with you so that you know what I know. It helps to know WHY they have to wake up. This is the sign of a growing brain. They have to wake up and they have to go through light (REM sleep) and heavy sleep. Light sleep is when they get waves of nourishment to their brain while they dream (it happens with all of us but much more frequently with babies. Their "wake---light sleep---deep sleep" cycles because their brains are growing like crazy!. They also wake up very easily in REM state, and so if you try to put them down while they are in REM sleep, they will usually wake up and cry. Wait until they go into deep sleep to put them down. At about 5-6 months the pattern of light and heavy sleep starts to change to longer periods of heavy sleep. As someone who tracks baby weights and lengths, a sleepy infant can sometimes be a red flag to me that something is wrong. The main thing to know is that it is not a good goal to try to get a baby to sleep through the night... it would be like making them go against their biological needs....instead roll with their schedule. Also all of the studies ever done show that they do not sleep more when given any kind of extra food... although people will swear it does.... but it's usually just that they are starting to get older and the light and heavy sleep cycle is changing. Alright... this video is pretty basic with these concepts but it's very helpful to see it all visually:
    If the link doesn't work, type in "Getting to Know your Baby" into youtube and it will talk about sleep for the first part of it. It's from Californiawic, the total is about 16 minutes . Ask me questions on myspark page if you need to know more. I haven't checked my mail in ages. Sorry for all the advice... but I hope it helps. luv ya, girl!
    1725 days ago
    This was in my email today, it may be useless but just in case :)

    By 6 months, your baby is still racking up an impressive 14 total hours of sleep a day, and if she's like 60 percent of babies her age, the vast majority of that happens at night, thankfully. The rest is broken up between two or three naps during the day. If you're having trouble getting your little one to sleep through the night, try eliminating her third nap, or cutting back on how long she naps (no longer than an hour at a time), small changes that could make her ready for longer stretches of sleep at night.

    Sleeping through the night, of course, isn't static. Some babies who were sleeping through the night at 4 months might relapse a bit now. There are a number of possible reasons, but a big one might be separation anxiety, which hits hard right around 6 months. Your baby is starting to understand that you're around even when she can't see you, but she can't comprehend that you'll always come back -- a developmental combo that makes her upset when you leave her alone. Separation anxiety is a totally normal developmental stage that peaks around 10 months, and while you can't prevent it, you can ease it by playing a game during the day where you go into a nearby room and call to her, so she knows you're there, even if she can't see you. If she gets upset at night, it's OK to comfort her with pats, singing, or talking, but try not to take Baby out of the crib to cuddle her. You'll create a hard-to-break habit.
    1725 days ago
    Im so sorry for what you are going through! Leighton and Oliver were sleep through the night babies, but I am telling you ! Ethan and Ivy were not!! Ivy was the crankiest baby, always and her terrible 2s were even worse! Ethans story was different, he was born with a genetic disease that he nearly did not live through and even now he has so many troubles in life (it is heartbreaking but I am so thankful he is alive) Im going to be honest with you and if my husband ever reads this post I may be in trouble ;) but Im going to tell you anyways. When Ethan was born he had a lot of problems (I know I just said that) but I also worked FT graves. I would get home from work at 6:30 a.m. and almost instantly fall asleep to have my husband wake me up an hour later to go with him to take Ethan to a appt. (he had appts with various Drs almost daily) and then when I got home I would fall asleep but he would always wake me up for stupid reasons! I went years with not having enough sleep and I was fat, cranky and not okay! Mine went on longer then yours will (I hope) but you are such a good momma and soon your angel will sleep longer. Im sorry about your MIL and all of the advice (even in good spirit) that is not doing much to make you feel better .. I have a mom like that too lol Just come here and vent all you want and that "new mommy fog" will be a distant memory one day! Until then do what you can and know the "mess" you are seeing and feeling now are only temporary. Especially if this is your first, there is an adjustment period regardless but it was longer (for me) with my first! emoticon
    1725 days ago
    I am so sorry. There is nothing worse than NOT GETTING SLEEP! Big hugs to you; hope the doc has some helpful suggestions emoticon
    1726 days ago
    Yikes -

    I would say starting food may have been too early. Its upsetting his tummy. 2nd, use natural oils like lavender and chamomile to bath baby and help them sleep at night. Tried and tested by ped around the world. Pour into bath and bathe. Buy at whole foods.
    1726 days ago
  • CYALE76
    I feel for you, wish I had some advice that someone has not already given you but it sounds as though you have already tried it all. My son had acid reflux when he was a baby and would scream every night once we finally got him on his medicine he slept better because his belly no longer hurt, then my daughter had colic and cried for the first 4 months I swear every night all night, I know how exhausting it can be, I promise it will get better, but until then I wish you luck in getting some sleep and staying sane. emoticon
    1726 days ago
    How frustrating for you :(. The only thing I can say is, it will get better. I assume you have tried the "let them cry" method at night? Best of luck and prayers that it will soon end and he will sleep through the night for you.
    1726 days ago
  • DB1167
    I feel for ya! My youngest didn't sleep well until he was almost 5. He would sleep maybe 3 nights out of 7. I don't have any motherly pointers. I would of thought that cereal would of helped alittle. My cousin's baby was the same way this summer and she had to supplement with formula cause the baby thought she need to eat all the time and she was breast feeding and couldn't keep up. As soon as she started her on formula she started to sleep better through the night. We figured she was missing something in breast milk that baby formula gave her. Good Luck and try to stay sane! I know that's impossible when you can't remember what your bed feels like...haha.
    1726 days ago
  • CARI2012
    I feel so bad for you, because I can feel your pain! My son did not sleep through the night until he was more than 9 months old. I have never in my life been as exhausted as I was and needless to say I was not a fun person to be around!

    It's ok to need help. Many people hire cleaning services- it's how they stay in business! If you can afford it and it doesn't put a hardship on you, I don't see any reason to stop it OR to feel guilty about it. It's just one small thing you do to keep your sanity, and there's no shame in that!

    Advice from all directions... I can definitely relate to that. I don't have any advice on getting your cherub to cooperate at night. During the day, have you tried baby-wearing? We had a Moby wrap and that was absolutely phenomenal. He could feel like he was being snuggled and I could get things done! It wasn't even a hassle to have him sleeping in it while I hung laundry or did dishes or anything!

    I am so sorry that you are so tired... it seems unfair sometimes just how much we sacrifice for our little ones without even batting an eye. Just know that it WILL NOT last forever... someday you WILL be able to get some rest!

    Post as many "ventings" as you need to; we are here for you... emoticon
    1726 days ago
    Our boys were like that. They did NOT want to sleep, and I discovered really early on that MOM NEEDS SLEEP. I cannot get up in the night, feed a kid, then go back to bed. I just can't - I won't sleep for hours afterwards. My husband, on the other hand, can get up multiple times a night without ever really waking up, feed the baby, and fall right back to sleep, without remembering in the morning that it happened. By the time our oldest was six months old, he sat me down and begged me to let him get up with the baby in the night, because we would all be happier if he did. And so from that time on, he got up for nighttime feedings, I got sleep, and eventually the boys did learn to sleep through the night (though sometimes not until 13 or 14 months - or in the case of my one semi-autistic child, not until 3 years old).

    I didn't breastfeed my kids. I tried, but they all needed too much milk too quickly, and the demand was impossible, and frankly I didn't WANT to breastfeed them. So I didn't. I don't feel guilty for this at all, because even though they were formula fed, they got plenty of love and attention during feedings. Because they demanded so much food, though - 5 or 6 oz every couple hours by the time they left the hospital - we introduced each of them to solids by the time they were 4 months old. Two of them took rice cereal okay, one only took yogurt (whole milk, plain yogurt). By six months, half their food came from table foods, and I don't feel guilty for that either, because it's what they needed. By five months, they were mostly refusing milk because it didn't fill them up.

    I'm not saying you should throw solids at your boy or anything like that - I just want to say that I can understand your exhaustion and frustration, especially with a bunch of different advice coming to you from different directions. It could be all sorts of things, from sleeping position to ambient noise to humidity levels to an element in the breastmilk to just the child's temperament. Don't be afraid to try something new or to go against advice if you think it might help your son (and you!).
    1726 days ago
    1726 days ago
    We went thru the same thing! I don't have any special advise for you ........ we never found a solution. emoticon
    1727 days ago
    I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this. I've been so lucky with my little princess, She is 9 weeks old and sleeps 10 hours at night. She has 32 oz a day and a tea spoon of cereal mixed with formula. I did breast feed in the beginning but had a skin infection and I had stopped. The formula seems to hold her over plus she is more full. She gets 8 oz at a time and it's perfect. Maybe he's not getting enough milk or is confusing hunger with gas. (Which happens a lot). That's what was happening to me in the beginning. She was up every two hours screaming like I never fed her before. My mom suggested giving her a sugar bottle. It's 3 oz of warm water with a 1/4 of a tsp of sugar. It's awesome... the sugar breaks up the gas. I wish you all the luck in the world! I hope everything works out!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1727 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.