(at least for the next 10 days )
I am a walking zombie too. DD has always been an OK sleeper with intermittent periods of terror. These past few weeks, she has been in terror mode. She will not sleep unless my nipple is in her mouth. I am beyond exhausted. I cannot function. I would be completely fine if she woke up 2-3 times at night, nursed, and rolled back over to go to sleep. This is what she does 80% of the time but this 20% is killing me. I do not want to give up co-sleeping. I do not want to deprive my DD of her booby time. I just NEED her to leave me alone so that I can SLEEP. I've debated about whether or not to try the Jay Gordon method. I think I've come to the point where I'm ready to give it a shot. If I can just get her back to the point where she's not needing my nipple all night long I will be overjoyed.
Hey Erin, is she learning something new or teething really bad? My DS and DD only did that (intermittently like you mentioned) when they were learning a new skill, like walking, or teething up a storm, like when all four eye teeth decided to come in at the same time.
Hopefully she settles for you a little better! I know how exhausting it is to not have any quality sleep. Katie has a cold right now and she's been a miserable sleeper this week because she can't breathe through her nose very well.
Katie - April 2010 . . . Drew - May 2007
It could certainly be a mix of teething and development. She's on the verge of walking. All four of her molars finished coming in about a week ago and now her canines are making a break for it. She's a teething machine. This really bad period of sleep started about a month ago. She got sick and that threw us for a loop as usual but after she was better and her teeth calmed down she didn't get back on track as she usually does. I think its just become habit.
We tried phase one of the Jay Gordon method last night. I'm going to call it a success. She nursed to sleep at 7:30. I went to bed at 10:15, she woke at 10:30. I grabbed her, brought her into bed, nursed her, and then soothed her back to sleep in my bed without the boob. She dealt with it beautifully. She pretty much just babbled for a second and then drifted off. She awoke at 12:30, I repeated the process, and she took it in stride once again. At 2:30 she awoke, nursed, (this is usually when the crazy nipple attacking baby comes out), and didn't drift off easily. She whined softly for about 30 minutes. She was clearly mad but not crying. Then she started yelling a bit. I patted her back, rubbed her legs, shushed quietly, and let her work our her frustration. She got pretty irate after about 45 minutes and cried a little but not nearly as bad as I expected. After about an hour (now 3:30) she snuggled in next to me and drifted off. At 6:00 she woke, nursed, and drifted back to sleep on her own. She was up for the day at 7:30. Happy as a clam and we were both much more rested than we have been in months.
I feel pretty good about how last night went. She never got so worked up that I felt guilty so I was able to stick to my guns. She still nursed plenty and I'm perfectly OK with that. I'm a MUCH happier mommy today and she doesn't seem to be holding a grudge.
Oh, something that REALLY helped last night was that I wore a shirt to bed. I don't normally do that. It was much easier for me to snuggle with her without stealth latching with a shirt on and just as easy to let her nurse. Also, DH is out of town so we had the whole King-sized bed to ourselves. She was able to roll around and complain without bumping into someone and I was still able to pat and soothe from a good arm's distance. Bumping into someone usually leads to rooting for boob if she's in a certain mood. Once she's in a certain level of sleep she'll snuggle up without fighting for the nipple.
I hope it just gets better from here. I'd be perfectly happy to stay on this phase for awhile without moving towards cutting out feedings.
Night number two was a complete success! She woke once, nursed, rolled over and went to sleep. I don't even know what time it was because I was sleeping so well. I'm so hoping this was the magic cure and not just a fluke. I'm going to reward the both of us with a trip to the playground!
So glad it's going well for you. I have been trying to shorten Katie's night time nursing sessions and then just rock or pat her to sleep the rest of the way. I thought it might help her to learn to sleep without nursing during falling asleep. So far no change, but she has a cold right now so all bets are off.
Katie - April 2010 . . . Drew - May 2007