Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer must have been reading my exhausted mind when she designated this as a Backwards Works for Me Wednesday, because I am in dire need of child-rearing advice.

Baby is 10 months old and does not sleep through the night. He has been breastfeeding since birth and is a little boobie-addict. He has been in full-time daycare since he was two months old and he hates bottles. Mommy pumps religiously, but he has never consumed more than 9 ounces of breastmilk in an entire day. Now that he has expanded his diet to include baby food and finger foods, he routinely drinks only 4-6 ounces of breastmilk a day at daycare. He will only drink 2 ounces of milk at a time and he fights those 2 ounces with all his might. He takes 2 or 3 sucks and smacks the bottle away. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes for this kid to drink 2 ounces of milk. Thank God his caregivers love him and have the patience to feed him.

Since he loathes the bottle and refuses to drink breastmilk from a sippy cup, he tries to make up for lost time in the evenings. He nurses with Mommy every two hours until bedtime, twice in the middle of the night, and once in the morning before daycare.

Mommy is exhausted!

Over the holidays, we tried to wean Baby off the middle-of-the-night Milk Fest because we were on vacation from work and had ample opportunity to nap during the day. Our plan was for Daddy to wake up with Baby and offer a bottle of water only. If Baby insisted that he was hungry, Daddy would offer a bottle of formula. Under no circumstances would Mommy make an appearance.

We tried this strategy for several nights and found that our Baby has the endurance of an Olympic athlete. He did not cry or fuss. He did not drink the water bottle. He did not drink the formula bottle. He simply laid in Daddy’s arms in the rocking chair, wide awake, waiting for Mommy to finish whatever it was that she was doing that was keeping her away from him. He waited patiently for HOURS.

Needless to say, Baby outlasted us and we are back to our old night-time routine.

PLEASE share any suggestions you have for helping baby sleep through the night.

P.S. don’t even suggest the Cry It Out Method. We’ve been there, done that, and decided it didn’t fit our parenting style.


Amy Voth said...

I have four kids & have survived many sleepless hang in there? I wonder if your son is on an eating schedule. It may sound crazy, but getting him on a feeding schedule during the day, may actually help him sleep through the night better. Once you feed him supper, make him wait until closer to bedtime to nurse. He has gotten used to the routine of eating frequently & waking up through the night is more of a habit. Anyway...hope that helps!

Christine said...

Buy yourself a copy of "The No Cry Sleep Solution." I didn't discover it until after my kids were older, but we were fostering babies.

SAHMmy Says said...

It's hard to say no to that sweet little face isn't it? I'll be reading the advice your readers offer along with mine! Baby ChubChub has always refused to take breastmilk from a bottle or sippy too--she'll drink cow's milk but it's like she knows that's not Mommy's!

Coralie said...

Okay, my baby is only five months, so I'm hesitant to even post, but I have an "out of the box" thought for you. Sounds like he wants you, not necessarily the milk. Have you considered co-sleeping?

I know it's not for every family, but it has really worked for me. My little mac can nurse while I sleep, there's no "up and down" time, and she gets her mommy cuddles in.

Angela said...

Every kid is different but my 15 month old (at the other wfmw blog) knew what was going on. He couldn't talk more than a word or two but man that kid understood. So we talk to him, repeatedly, about things and deal with a little crying. We nursed until a year with both and basically you know if its a hungry or comfort thing and I'd gauge it from there. If she could be hungry sure go feed, but if its just a comfort thing what about teaching her to self sooth? This is a very personal area....we were big co-sleepers so I didn't go crazy waking up 6 times a night and walking down the hall. But really I'd just use judgment and let some of those wake ups involve some crying and train her. Lovingly train and teach why you're doing what ever you chose to do and what she can expect from you. It doesn't always work but its a good idea I think. And hopefully it still respects your breastfeeding and sleeping choices.

My oldest never tried a bottle, well I think he was given one once and he woudln't take it. My second we had to ween at 9 months for my sanity because I was having energy issues though I made enough milk. And he starved basically for three days, one wet diaper a day, until the third day when I got desperate and bought every shape of nipple at walgreens. We found on that worked. It turned out it was a nipple issues, with a 9.5 month old! I figured at that old they know how it works they can deal but he wasn't happy unless he had a certain nipple. Otherwise he'd just push the bottle away. So Give that a shot. It sounds like he's given up day feedings and making up for it at night. This might be horrible but what about juice at night? yes it could be bad for teeth but it could also be a start?

I understand desperation so good luck!

Jessica said...

Definitely schedule, schedule, schedule (if you are not already.) They find comfort in knowing what to expect. Also, if your child is not a co-sleeper, I don't know that you should necessarily start that now. It will be a much bigger problem to tackle later. Trust me... I was a child that climbed in and out of bed with Mommy and Daddy FOREVER - so I wouldn't be a good one to talk about that with b/c I am very Anti! He is a cutie! I don't think there really is a right or wrong just have to figure out what works with his personality. Good Luck!

Mich said...

My daughter was formula fed, so I know it's different, but what about more food during the day? The other thing to look at is how much he is sleeping during the day--it may be time to drop down to just one nap. I know when MAM did that, she was out cold for 12 hours at night. Hang in there!

hil said...

You are describing my son, exactly, down to theounces of milk drunk during the day.

My survival: My son co-slept from 5months until he was weaned at 19 months. He took the bottle only enough to get through the day, then on the boob all night long. It's called "reverse cycling" common in breast fed babies with working mommies.

It got better as he ate more food during the day. This kicked in about 9-10 months. I took food to daycare for him...all his favs, and lots of them. He also got food in the car on the way home, then bf.

When weaning him over a month, I dropped one bf per week, keeping the night time one until next to last (wake up time was last to go). Once this night weaning started...peace at last!

Of course with 2nd year molars coming in, he sleeps through maybe 50% of nights now....they change things regularly, keeping you guessing!

Katie said...

You poor thing! Just to echo Christine... go to the library and check out Elizabeth Pantley's book "The No Cry Sleep Solution." Hopefully it will at least give you some guidance. Good luck!

mom08 said...

I do relate with you in every aspect that you have described above. My doctor had suggested that we get ear tubes for my son, but we did not think he was getting that many of ear infections(maybe one or 2 in a month)and mostly it was fluid in the ear stuck.By the way i B/Fed him until he was 13 almost 14 months he refused the bottle. He is now 15months. Finally, dad and i decided we do what Dr suggested. Anyway, the same night he had his eartubes in, he slept all thro the night and the nights after. He eats better now and one day just did not b/feed him and the next day, he fussed but i was strong n determined. Dad played a big part in the feedings to where he'd make sure he had enough. I tried alot of things too and i know how it is like. Thanks