I am having the same problem with my 12 mo. old daughter. I feel for you and am looking forward to reading the responses. Good luck, you are not alone!
Hello all, My son is now 11 months old and he is still so fussy. I am not sure what to do. He doesn't sleep well at night, he still is nursing at least twice a night, sometimes up to 4 or 5, and fussy. He sleeps with me, I am working on that, but I am finding that I don't even wake up fully anymore when I get him from the crib, I sleep walk for the first time in my life!!! I don't even know when he comes to bed!! I am so tired!!! He doesn't like to take naps, most days only one, and he wants to be held so much. He is very active, almost walking, but chases me around the house while I do chores and fusses after me!!! I know part of it is teething and from being tired but even when he is happy his mood can change and he'll be a little fuss bucket all over again. I don't get it. Is there anyone that can advise me on this or that has, is, in my shoes?? Thank you~~ Sleepy Mama
I am having the same problem with my 12 mo. old daughter. I feel for you and am looking forward to reading the responses. Good luck, you are not alone!
He should be sleeping though the night at this age. He should not still be taking feeds at night. I would stop feeding at night. He will protest at first, but give it a few nights, and he will get over it, and start sleeping better, so you can sleep as well.
My guess is that your son is sleep deprived. My son was a horrible sleeper until he was 11 months old, getting up sometimes 5-10 times per night, wanting to nurse. I had been opposed to letting him cry up until then, but desperate times called for desperate measures.
The first night he cried for about 20 minutes, and only woke up a couple of times. The second night he cried for about 5 minutes, and slept pretty well. The third night he was asleep by the time I got to the bottom of the stairs, and he slept through the night for the first time ever! I remember laughing hysterically when I realized he'd only cried for about 5 seconds the third night.
Sometimes we have to let kids figure things out for themselves, while giving them a nudge in the right direction. Your son is old enough now to understand a lot of what you say, so I'd explain to him that he needs to put himself to sleep tonight, that you love him, and you'll be right outside, but once he's in his crib you're not going to come back in until morning. It'll be hard for a few nights, but ultimately you'll be doing him a favor, as it sounds like he hasn't learned to sleep well yet.
I'll bet you'll have a much happier baby during the days once he starts getting enough sleep at night.
Try a sling. That way, you can get things done while he gets to be held. It's not a second child thing. Kids are just different. He should still be taking naps. Try putting him to bed about 20-30 minutes earlier at night. He might not be getting enough sleep.
My youngest is 12.5 months and she sleeps 12 hours at night and two naps during the day totalling 3 hours.
He's most likely fussy because he's not getting enough sleep. Get the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Marc Weissbluth MD and skip to the part for his age group. You can read the rest later (and I recommend that you do so to understand why he makes the recommendations that he does).
I would institute some tough love and CIO at this point. In fact, I would have done it months ago. Unless there is a medical reason why he is fussy (and I assume you've had that checked out), you need to put a stop to this now. You're setting up his sleep habits for the rest of his life at this point, so he needs sleep training. You also need rest.
Sounds so much like my firstborn. Things I found helped:
* sling ("needed" to be held from day 1 -- nurses noticed it)
* schedule/routine (I could set a clock by him in my tummy!)
* sharing sleep (I didn't want to hurt either one of us by running into walls in my sleep. Sharing a bed with your nursing child can't be too bad ... after all, God didn't invent cribs!) :)
* eliminated milk from my diet (have you thought about possible allergies for your little guy?)
* outside at least 10 minutes every day (or I could guarantee crabbiness by dinnertime)
* Tylenol at night (knocks them out -- my guy teethed miserably from 3 - 12 months)
* no TV ("brain fried" cranky the rest of the day if he was exposed to even 1 hour of TV)
I hope some of this helps. Sounds like you are doing a great job!
My advice would be to begin the transition to your son sleeping in his own bed. As others have pointed out, children should be able to sleep the whole night through at this time without eating. Both my son and my daughter co-slept with me and my husband until about 6-7 months old when they both exibited signs of readiness to be in their own beds. I found those signs to be waking more often in the night and seeming restless, a lot of nursing and not seeming to be satisfied with the nursing (more of a pacifier than wanting to eat). I also at this point thought that I was really having a hard time without sleeping, even more so than when they were younger. I began by putting them in their crib at naptime and letting them explore their beds during the day with me so they could get used to them in that way. We then found an opportune time to begin the new night time routine which consists of bathtime, reading, cuddling and nursing. Then we put the baby in their crib. Sometimes the baby would have fallen asleep, other times he/she would be awake. We used the method where we would say goodnight and then sometimes I sit by the bed, where the baby can see me, but I don't make eye contact and look relaxed and make a soothing noise once in a while if the baby is crying. We also have used the method where you leave the baby in the crib after saying goodnight and leave the room for one min. to start, if the baby is still crying, go in and soothe the baby without picking him or her up. Leave, go back in 2-5 minutes, soothe, leave, come back if still crying in the next increment of time, etc. This has worked so well for us. It is difficult to listen to baby cry, but like for us, I realized, the babies were crying even when we were holding them, nursing them and other measures we were using anyways and they both ended up going to sleep eventually and soon were sleeping the whole night through. Both my children are great sleepers and it has really helped me get some sleep. I also suggest that you create a rule that if the baby wakes before a certain time, you soothe them and they go back to sleep in their own bed and if they wake after the alloted time, they can come into your bed. My time is 5 am...so if baby wakes before then, no feeding and they go back to bed in their own crib, after and I take them back to my bed and nurse and hopefully fall back asleep.
I hope you find something that works for you and your babe!
My niece was very similar to this. She is still very fussy and about to turn a year. One thing I know my sister did was start feeding her more regular meals to ensure she is full before bed. She does better sleeping on a full tummy now, I am sure this is something you do but just in case not I thought I would suggest it. Also with my own children (who sometimes both sleep with me) I have found a nice warm southing bath with the lavander and chamomile bath wash really helps, my daughter just turned a year and if I give her the bath and a little lotion massage and try to relax her that seems to make a big difference. I have gotten her in to a night time routine of the bath then the massage and then a bottle and a book the nighty night. Sometimes it works better than others but the repetativness of it lets her know what is coming next. Good luck I know how it feels to never sleep. Just remembver it will get better. :)
My daughter is 18 months, sleeps with us (has from day one), and still nurses at night (anywhere from 3-6 times). She, however, is not fussy. When teeth are coming in, yes, but otherwise, a very happy girl. One thing that can help if he is needing to be close to you, but you need to get stuff done, is wearing him in a carrier. Babies that are carried in a sling cry 43% less than babies who aren't. If you are interested in trying that, there are different carriers you can try out before buying. Check out www.nwbabywearers.org. They are a local support group who have libraries of carriers and really knowledgeable leaders who can help you find the right one for you and your baby. I know when they go through growth spurts and are teething, they need more attention than usual. Keep on nursing, that helps in of itself.
At night, I use Hyland's teething tablets and even their kids Calms Forte. That helps sometimes, too.
If you need more immediate help finding a carrier, I live in Hillsboro and have about 15 carriers that you are more than welcome to come and try. :) It really helps when they want to be held constantly. :)
I do have a question: when he starts off in bed with you, are you still as tired, and does he wake up just as fussy as when he starts in his crib? I'm very supportive of bed sharing, but if you are a heavy sleeper, like to the point of sleep walking, you might want to put a barrier between you in bed to be safer.
Anyways, if you would like to talk to someone who is supportive of co-sleeping and breastfeeding, drop me a line. You're doing great. It will get better.
ps. Just to add to those who say babies should be sleeping through the night at this phase: Um, NO. Most babies don't sleep through the night until about 2 years old, when they are done teething. A great majority of moms who get their kids to sleep through the night earlier than that are either a.) blessed with great sleepers; or b.) have done plenty of Crying It Out (which has been proven emotionally detrimental in many studies). My point: don't feel like he is lagging, or you doing something wrong if he isn't sleeping through the night yet.
I totally agree with Erin K...It is completely normal for your child to be waking and nursing in the night. It is not a necessity for nutrition but nursing is not all about nutrition. Nursing is about holding and giving love... If your child needs to be held and given love in the night please do not feel uncomfortable about doing so. Don't think of breastfeeding only as a means for food. The term breastfeeding ... if looked at the equivalent word in other languages means to nurture...The English word is the only one that has anything to do with food. I take a class at Evergreen hospital and one of the big sayings that we have and I ask myself on many occassions is...What would tribal woman do?? Tribal woman has no junk information being thrown at her... No internet to tell her how her child should be developing...No strange theories about forcing your child cry ..What do you think tribal woman would do in your situation? Ask yourself this and see what answer you come up with..In my opinion she is going to sleep with that baby because that is the only way for her to function and she is going to hold that baby when he is fussy(sounds like a bit of separation anxiety..My son has it big time too)
Luckily we do live in a society that wants to make things easier for us and there are some wonderful baby carriers out there.(I like the Ergo.. I got mine at www.cozybabyboutique.com ) That way you can hold him and still get things done around the house. As far as advise to help things along unfortunately I have none some children are just that way. I t does sound like separation anxiety. He just wants to be with you all the time. He loves his momma that much. You are the best thing ever. Main thing here is to remember that it does not last forever...it will be gone before you know it They grow so fast. Enjoy it while you can.Good luck
I would encourage you to purchase the book, "the baby Whisperer", it should help you gain the tools you need to "know" your baby, what makes him tick.
My daughter was a colicky, "unpleasant" baby (now a fabo 2.5 year old), but I was at wits ends with her. I found this book to be a blessing.
I've been there. I lived through it with my daughter. I remember when I couldn't even take a shower by myself. It was really sad. And finally I had to lock myself in the bathroom all by myself to get some breathing room. But she wouldn't do this when anybody else was around. I once had to carry her through the store like a rolled up carpet in my arms. She was kicking and screaming. Sometimes when my husband was out of town I cooked dinner with her in a backpack.
I tell you all these things to let you know that you can live through the tough times. I finally figured out that my daughter spent alot of time screaming and kicking because her mind was ahead of her body. And she did all physical skills early.
Finally, at five when she enter a Montessori school she began to calm down. Eventually we discovered she was a gifted child. In high school in addition to the gifted curriculum, she was in swimming and gymnastics. We had none of the typical teenage troubles because she was so busy with home work and so exhausted with the sports (in bed at (9:00) that she had no energy.
Oh, I did do preschool swimming, and soccer.
And now she is still a very strong willed, determined, successful woman. She gets what she wants. I am amazed.
I recommend activities to wear him out and to focus his attention. Swimming will soon be appropriate.
Also let him cry for five minutes before you feed him at night. Maybe he will go back to sleep.
It sounds like your little guy is trying to tell you that he needs your attention throughout the day. My 16 month old daughter has times of day where she is my barnacle and will be the Sharpie Baby (commercial) if I try to get rid of her. When this happens I either put the chores on hold that I'm trying to do, or stick her in a Baby Bjorn type carrier, and keep on trucking. Usually we sit on the couch and cuddle until she's ready to get down and do her thing again. My daughter is still extremely clingy to me, but we also spend all day everyday together.
Sharpie Baby commercial: Mom has a little boy that is about 18 months old sitting on her hip. She tries to set him down and he screams as soon as is toes hit the floor. She picks him up and he stops. Repeat twice more. Mom shakes her head and labels lunchbags and backpacks with baby on her hip.
It's a commercial for the Sharpie Retractable Pen. My hubby and I find it amusing because my daughter is the same way so very often.
Hope this somehow helps,
I think you will both be happier if you lovingly take control of the situation and start sleep training him. I relied on "Babywise" by Ezzo and Buckman. It will be harder since he is older. Nutritionally, he doesn't have to be nursing in the middle of the night--it will probably be better for both of you if he learns to soothe himself back to sleep. It is an important skill. Many kids don't "like" to take naps, but they need the sleep for optimal growth and development. Sure, personalities are different, but everyone needs a healthy amount of sleep, right?--including you!
Not much advice but you're not alone! My first daughter (also 3 like yours) was a great sleeper, angel baby and my second daughter (7 months) is a complete fussbucket like yours! She sleeps good next to me, fusses after 10 minutes of playing alone or with her sister, always wants to be held, etc.
Maybe it's a second child thing? I have heard from most people that it seems to be so, maybe just that our first born never got the chance to fuss because they were our primary focus?
Feeling your pain, sister!
Sounds like you have a needy baby--I did too. Woke me at least every 2 hours at night, wanted to be held all day, couldn't stick to a regular nap schedule (or count on much when he did). Well, the good news is that this stage will pass (at 2-1/2 years my son became the perfect sleeper). Until then you can try carriers to keep him with you, a bouncy swing to hang in the doorway of the room you're in, and maybe a exosaucer for variety (look for a used one).
P.S. Feel free to try any of the experts "sleep training," but don't count on them working (we must have tried 6 or 7 methods, devoting 2 weeks to most before giving up from complete lack of success). Your baby will be ready when he's ready.
I agree with the folks that have already suggested that much of the fussiness is due to sleep issues. I'd also recommend the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Marc Weissbluth MD.
I was not a cry-it-out mom with my first daughter, but my second daughter was a different personality and we found that just a little bit of crying got her onto a decent routine very quickly (at around 4-5 months -- I wouldn't do this younger). The Weissbluth book talks about the natural times of day for babies to sleep and has some good suggestions for how to get to onto this type of routine. There are chapters that are specific to sleep problems at different ages, so you can pick and choose what is relevant. The book also talks about all the reasons that good sleep is so important for development.
I practice many of the "attachment" parenting concepts (including some co-sleeping), but found that sleep is so important for baby, mom, dad, and siblings, that this is an area where different techniques work for different personalities and different situations. So, do what you think is best for you, but I do hope you all start getting some sleep soon!
I know that when baby sleeps with you it is still very common to nurse thoughout the night because they associate it with sleep. My two (13 months and 2 1/2 years) were both up through the night until one year but slept in their own crib. And both did just what you describe about following me around fussing. And my first only took one or two 30-45 min. naps until she was 18 months old. Sleep was always our biggest challenge. I'd read a handful of "sleep" books, including Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child and really didn't have any improvement until they got a little older. So, I can only advise that you do what you need to do now and know that in time it will be better. I would try to work on keeping him in his bed... does he climb out of his crib now? Good luck!
My 20 mos old son was this way at 10 mos. First my doc said even though he eats food now to give him more milk during the day. Bottles or breast feeding at 7ish, 11, 4 and 8 and let him cry himself back to sleep or go in and pat him or try a pacifier. I gave him a new stuffed animal and would play 5 min. of music that shut itself off (leap frog stuffed animal). Then I get some teething tabs and ran him at a park a few times a week. Plus, the occasional tylenol or motrin for when he's really in pain. Then I did chores while he was eating or entertaining himself. When he came to the dishwasher or dryer while working I let him help a minute. "hand me the baby spoons" Thank you. Close the door, push the button, etc. and then lead him to his toy box or book shelf. Get him set up with an activity: Trucks, etc. and then try to get back to cleaning. But I had days, I just had to carry him or hold him and read another book, etc. I had a dirty house for awhile and my mom said you can always clean later he'll never be a baby again. So, relax and make yourself take a nap when he does or get him used to his crib again and take a bubble bath or paint your nails. I found I had to force myself to have me time and by doing my nails it forced me not to touch or do anything for 30 min. He trusts you enough to fuss or yell so you're doing good and he will learn words or learn to point to his mouth when you ask where does it hurt. My son seems to tell me easier now that he's a bit older but teething is always yucky for everyone involved even when we do all the above and more. I still have those fried days where I've been telling my husband I need a break for the baby's sake so I can continue being a good Mama. Hang in there.
sleep with him all night! (and sleep whenever your children sleep!) and hold him and nurse him and include him in your activities as much as he wants! it sounds like he's perfectly normal and well attached, so congratulations!