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Almost made me cry!

Posted by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 2:05 PM
  • 12 Replies

Do they really have to sleep through the night? (rerun)

The fun part of living in a prison with golden bars with a few other couples who don't share your parenting view, is that I get frustrated on a daily basis. Now that might not seem so nice, but it gives me plenty of material to write about any way.
This week major frustration (and it has been for quite a while) is the sleep through the night-issue (STTN).

Let me first draw out the situation for you. My daughther is now 20 months old. She has always been a difficult sleeper and a frequent night nurser. This doesn't really pose a problem, as we are bedsharing, so our awake time during the night is rather limited (except for those odd nights she just wants to nurse and nurse until the early hours). We did have some fertility issues (which I won't discuss here, because I'd be going way off topic), so we pondered on nightweaning. We gave it a couple of tries, but in the end we concluded that a) I am way to lazy to nightwean, b) if she's nursing at night she might need it (ok, maybe not from a nutritional point of view, but at least for comfort, which, to me, is equally important).
To cut a long story short, we did well to go with our onstincts, because now, the fertility issue resolved itself and the nightnursing too. Now of course that's just how you see things. My daughter falls asleep around eight PM and wakes up to nurse around 4.30 AM, she dozes off again and takes her morning boobie when the alarm wakes us up. Of course there are still nights when she wakes more frequently, or nurses around the clock, but all and all, we're ok with it and I believe she does so for a reason. From where I stand there is no point in pushing her to sleep for 10 hours straight.

Now, this week, I was yet again asked for advice on the sleep situation of another woman's 8 month old. Quick sketch: Baby's sleeping in a crib in a seperate bedroom, and hurray!!!!, she's still breastfed. Baby falls asleep around 7 or 7.30 PM. Smart as she is, she wakes up a few times per night to call on her mommy for some delicious boobie. And this is where it itches.
So the mom asks me what to do. Luckily, we're all against controlled crying (ouf!). I tell her about the Jay Gordon method (see below) and try to explain in short. I tell her she should pick the six hours of sleep she prefers. "Oh," she says: "she sleeps six hours straight, that's not the problem." Confused, I ask her what the problem might be, adding that six hours in a row is already tremendous (I would have signed for that at eighet months!!!). She replies:"that's all well, but by now, she's big enough to not need the milk during the night. It's not like she could be hungry."

You can imagine how this conversation drives me crazy (more so because it's not the first time I've had it with this woman and she still does not see we'll never see eye to eye on our parenting ways).
Is it so crazy that the poor kid calls for his mother in the middle of the night when she wakes up alone in a dark and unfamiliar room far far away? Would you want to leave her there in fear? Knowing a fluctuation in serotonine (caused by stress) might cause SIDS?
Why would a baby only require nursing when she's hungry (if that were true why on earth did people invent a pacifier?). How on earth can you expect your baby to sleep twelve hours in a row? Just have some patience, she might well do that when she's a teen (at least I hope so with our daughter, so we can catch up!). And maybe, njust maybe,m the kid is actually hungry. Some babies just have a smaller stomach and need more frequent feedings, some women have a smaller storage capacity, so they need to nurse more frequently.
And even more infuriating when I told her - as consolation - that my daughter wakes up for a feed at four, she almost screamed: "Oh hell, I won't be feeding her at night when she's that old!" Thank you, please come again.

What is all this fuss about sleeping through the night anyway. We ourselves sometimes get up to pee. And if you're concerned about your own sleep, think about all the night you went out untill the early hours. Were you complaining then? Forget pacifiers, blankies, teddies, just let them go at it at their own pace!
I agree, it can sometimes be frustrating, and there are those days that you're just exhausted, but why would we try to mold our children into what we want them to do all the time? If we just let nature take its course, they'll sleep through eventually. You think they'll come and ask you for boobie at 2AM when they're 18? I think not.
If you wanted something you can turn off at night and put back on in the morning, on your schedule, you should have bought a TV. Parenting doesn't stop at night. Here in West-Africa, children sleep in bed with their parents until they're two at least (or until there's a younger nursling, then they move to older sibling's beds), they stil wake up at age two and nobody screams bloody murder. That's the way it goes, that's how nature made us. If we had to be scheduled, the schedules would be delivered with that baby at birth.

Read on:
If you are set on having them sleep through the night, this might be the easiest peaceful way: Changing the sleep pattern in the family bed by dr. Jay Gordon

(The second comment by Anonymous about made me cry!!!...OMG, poor, sweet lil baby!)

Anonymous said... 2 I know a baby that was a cry it out baby, I was still pregnant. Seeing what happened to this 2.5 month old cemented my cosleeping ideal. I was visiting,the baby put to bed, and she cried - then screamed. I actually witnessed the parents turn off the baby phone. They said she did this for months and months. With a week of that visit, the parents were overjoyed. The baby now slept 12 hours solid - not even 3 months old!!!

Guess what - a week after that - Momma had no more booby juice.

that baby today, is sickly, scared, timid, rarely held, sleeps alone, when sick put into a swing (vs carried, rocked by the parents), "don't spoil the child".

I have chosen all the opposites, baby wearing, baby led weaning, elimination communication, cosleeping, etc etc etc - after observing the detrimental effects that Western civilization is having on babies!
by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 2:05 PM
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by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 2:25 PM

My 3 yo doesnt sleep through the night and he wasnt even breastfed past a month... until he was about 6 mo he was still waking up every 2 hours to be fed. I'm going on 4 years now with barely any sleep night after night while working and going to school full time and I'm starting it all over again with a completely breastfed 3 mo now.. I dont understand the obsession with sleeping through the night at all... I live off of about 5 hours of broken sleep a night and I'm still (somewhat) functioning :P parents just gotta learn to suck it up a little.. parenting isnt always comfortable.

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Aww.  Poor little baby.  I love that my babies have slept through the night at a young age (2 months for both the FF and the breastfed baby!).  But I would never FORCE them to.  They are babies and need to do this when *they* are ready.  If baby is hungry, he/she cannot help that.  Even after they started sleeping through the night, they still had numberous nights of getting up at random times or being sick.  My 4 year old still gets up at odd times for bad dreams or wanting some water.  I don't make her stay in bed just becuase it hasnt' been x number of hours yet. 

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM

That is sooo sad! My 3 month old sleeps 8 hours a night usually, but that is by her choice, I don't let her cry. If she wants to be held or fed I will do that for her. I can't believe someone would let a baby that young CIO

by Bronze Member on Aug. 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM
My four year old still doesn't sleep through all the time. I don't sleep through! Also, I sometimes wake up just to check on him and my 12 year old! OMG!!! :D if we listen to our children they do tell us what they need.
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by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 4:07 PM

My 14 month old is just starting to give me 5-8 hour stretches now (not exactly regularly either). Sometimes it's really hard, but that's parenting. It just isn't convenient. It's a hard job, with ups and downs and you do these things for the health and wellness of you precious child.

My son was only bfed for a few months, but still wakes at night/early morning to come to bed with us. He needs the comfort. The best investment when having children, IMO, is a KING size bed!

by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 4:11 PM
Great article!
by on Aug. 19, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Ya oh yeck no not that early not ok!!!  I would have said something I wouldn't have been able to help it.   Can I ask whats elimination communication? 

by on Aug. 21, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Quoting Brandy85412:

Ya oh yeck no not that early not ok!!!  I would have said something I wouldn't have been able to help it.   Can I ask whats elimination communication? 

Not sure what elimination communication is. But from the sound of it, I would guess it means guessing what they need til ya get it right. LOL. :)

by Bronze Member on Aug. 21, 2011 at 6:29 PM

 elimination communication is potty training from birth. From what I have gathered from the little bit that I have read, is that you let the baby go diaper free, you watch their facial expressions, etc and you learn how they act when they need to pee or poop and then you put them on the potty and let them go potty. This is suppose to lead to earlier potty training. I am not sure though.


by Gold Member on Aug. 21, 2011 at 6:30 PM
DS sleeps in his own crib, but I'm less than 10 steps away! I can't imagine letting a baby CIO at any age! CIO kills brain cells! So sad for that baby!

Elimination communication = trying to teach infants to poop in the toilet. You watch the baby's cues then put baby on potty when they may poop. I've never tried it
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