Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Trying to Figure This Out Before My Hair Falls Out!!!

...OMG! I'm kind of at a point of I have no idea what to do regarding sleep and introducing solids.

I decided AR was ready for solids and started giving her single grain oatmeal. I read on this, called the Gerber hotline, I was ready. After 3 days, I stopped because I read about open gut and the nurse at the pedi office said to wait until her fouth month check-up which was yesterday. Those three days, she took it very well and seemed to like it. After her check-up yesterday, the doctor said to go ahead and intro. Plus she needs to be eating every 4 hours instead of every 3 and this may help. I have no idea how I'm going to stretch her out to 4 hours because after 3 she acts like she hasn't eaten in days!

So this morning, I decided to read up again on intro-ing solids. I'd decided we'd start again this weekend. Then I read that intro-ing solids could lead the baby to wean off the breast early. So now I'm back to being in limbo of I have no idea when to start! Ugh...

Her sleep...yeah, it sucks. She's STTN three times in the past month but those were only fakeouts because the other nights, she's up at 11, 1, 3 and sometimes every 30 minutes after that. At her check-up, the doctor asked if she was a good baby. I said, "She really is a good baby but she hates to sleep." Her response, we can fix that. Ha-like it's that' easy! I told her everything we do and she said that I should lay her down awake so when she wakes in the middle of the night she can put herself back to sleep. Okay, so most nights she falls asleep at the boob but not a deep sleep. Like when I lay her down her eyes open or some nights she's wide awake and I'll lay her down and she'll put herself to sleep. So I'm really doubting that this will work. In fact, I tried it with her nap just a few minutes ago and then spent 15 minutes calming her down. So yeah, I will never sleep again. Feel free to leave your tips but I guarantee I've tried it all...bedtime routine, dropped the night feeding, don't go in until she's crying and then just paci, ssh and rub belly if I have to. I tried about 5 minutes of CIO and put a stop to that. Both the nurse and doctor said I was doing everything right SO I just need to learn to function on zero sleep.

Then she said that she needs to be taking 3 naps a day totaling 4 hours and she shouldn't be awake for more than an hour and a half at a time. I looked at her schedule to see how we could adjust that and there's no way she'd only take 3 naps and not be awake for more than an hour and a half. As I type this, she's laying in her crib wide awake and has been awake for almost 2 hours.

I'm so frustrated of reading and stressing and trying things and it not working and reading and analyzing... I feel like AR is such a good baby, she just HATES sleep which affects the whole family and our attitudes. I'd hold her all the time to get her to sleep if I could but I can't and I know that won't help the problem. I really have learned to function on less sleep and most nights, I accept that when I lay down at 9:30, I'll be up in an hour or so but other nights, I just want to cry because I'! And I'm always the one that gets up to get her but Matt insists that he's up too because he wakes up when I get up. There's a huge difference between constantly getting up and sshhing (that's all I feel like I do some nights) and trying to fall back asleep vs waking up briefly and laying in bed while someone else takes care of her.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining (well, I guess I am). I just needed to vent this out. I love AR more than anything in the world and I'd give up every night of sleep for her. It's just frustrating because I know she can STTN but she just refuses too. Plus I have NO idea what to do with the food thing! I wish she'd come with an owner's manual :-)


Mrs. Dirnberger said...

Lay her down awake, when she wakes up try a passi(if she takes one) and lay her back down with a little soothing talk and rub. Then leave the room...wait 2 minutes and repeat and repeat and repeat...waiting a minute longer inbetween. She will eventually get it. It will be a lot of long nights, but she will eventually get it. Also, don't feed her everytime she wakes up.....they get in a habit and wake up even when they aren't tired. Make sure she is NOT overly tired also...this makes it worse. It will get better momma

Kristal said...

Why do you want to introduce food? Is she acting unsatisfied or something? Official recs say nothing but breastmilk until 6 months and even then, food before a year is really just for fun. And personally, I don't at all agree with your pedi that AR 'needs' to be going 4 hours between feedings. Did she say why she thinks that? I know this is going to sound harsh and I don't mean it that way, but based on her recs of starting food now and needing 4 hours between feedings, it doesn't sound like she's very educated on a normal breastfeeding relationship.

Regarding sleep, I have no advice. :( Isaac didn't STTN until he was a year old. It was not fun, but I didn't push the issue simply because I didn't need to - I wasn't working, so I napped with him. We tried a variety of gentle methods, but frankly, nothing really made a difference until he was ready. I do remember how bad it sucked sometimes though, and how stressful it was for me feeling like there was maybe an answer and I just didn't know it, and I hate you are dealing with that. Sorry, mama! :(

Meg said...

If you are ready to intro food, then go for it. You can take it slow. My SIL EBF all three of her kiddos for a year and had no problems when she introduced food. Its all up to you and whatever decision you make will be the right one because you are her momma and you know what's best!

Jenni-Bee said...

Megan has it right, you know what's best so do what feels right to both you and her. Remember, she will let you know if she's not taking well to food, and on the BF note, you have enough stock for like a year of feedings. Lol. No, in all seriousness, I think it all varies by baby, so maybe AR wont have a problem BF when eating solids. Is cereal really considered a solid???

The feeding every 4 hours thing would never work for Emma. She eats every 1 - 2 hours. It's exhausting! But, once we hit 2 hours she screams bloody murder until she gets her bottle, then she's all out of breath and panicked for the first minute of eating... so we know she was flipping out thinking she was starving.

The STTN thing is tricky I think. I slept for 11 hours almost every night so maybe that contributed to Emma's sleeping long? Idk, we do the same stuff you do, but bath every other day unless needed. We don't even do bedtime story or prayer (although we should). HOWEVER, Em takes like 2 naps a day for an hour each and that's it. If she sleeps inthe evening at any point, it's one time for 10 minutes because we purposely keep her awake as long as we can. A lot of times she will be awake for 6 or 7 hours before bedtime, with the exception of the 10 minute nap usually around 6:30pm. Our problem now is that she wont sleep later than 3:30 or 4am and I'm up for the day way too early.

Have you tried keeping her awake for at least the 4 hours before bedtime?

Anonymous said...

Oh Mama! I think you can take what pedi says about # of hours b/w feedings and # of naps with a grain of salt - I'm not saying pedi is wrong but -personally my kids ate every 2-3 hours. Solids can make her milk intake decrease but not by much, there are so many emotional benefits she gets while BF so it's not just about the calories. And yes for the first year food (solids) is more for fun then anything - consider this BM is approx 3% fat = satiating, cereal? fruits/veggies? more carbs than fat so it won't replace BM. If you think she enjoyed/tolerated cereal then I would encourage you to give it to her and follow her lead - maybe try 1x a day and if she loses interest, the feeding is over...

I wish I had advice about STTN. But I do agree that feeding in the night can be confusing - DS#1 started waking after consistently STTN - we fed him and then this went from 1x every other night to 3x a night :(

Maybe have DH get her to sleep 1x a night to give you a longer stretch??

Krystie said...

Even my newborn is awake more then your pedi advised, weird.

As for introducing food I would just start slow. Some babies do need those extra calories to make it through the day. Have you tried a little rice cereal in her bottle before bed? There are mixed reviews but my mom did it for me and my brother and we were STTN by 6 weeks. Do you have a white noise machine near her crib? Henry likes noise vs quiet so I always have some type of noise on. I hope things get better mama!

Angie said...

great comments! I agree with most everyone, that each baby is different and when books say "babies at this age should be doing this..." I just kind of take it with a grain of salt because each kid is different. I think you're going to drive yourself nuts if you analyze things too muchm, and I'd just follow her cues. Feed when she's hungry and don't worry about the time etc. Sorry you're having so many issues, I know it's hard! But we can all tell you love her and want what's best for her and as she knows she is loved! Little stinker will figure out the sleep thing I promise.

Joanna said...

Totally agree with each baby is different. Having 3 the same age it really allowed us to see the difference! I introduced the boys to cerel at 3 months but mostly just put it in their bottle. By 5 months they were getting it in the morning as well (if I had a good night). We had 2 pretty good sleepers & one that didn't want to sleep that well. When E would wake up, we would give him water instead of food. A baby their age can still be thirsty although they do get water through breastmilk. I don't agree that solids can put them off breastfeeding although I read that too.

By 4 1/2 months they were eating every 4 hours but the way I did it was increase the time by 15 minutes each time & eventually got them to 4 hoursish.

Did you get one of the aquariums? Try letting her sleep to that & if she wakes at night use the remote & turn it on so she doesn't see you. Our boys use them in the morning as well to entertain themselves & then I could get a little more sleep:D I feel for you with the no sleeping thing, I never thought I'd have a full nights sleep again after they were born. It took E almost to a year to finally not take that 5am bottle. Wish I could be more helpful :( You'll sleep again, I promise! And then you'll have nights where you don't get much sleep again & you wonder how you used to do it when you had to get up all the time :)

Liz J said...

My second child did not sleep through the night until he was 18 months old. We tried formula bottles at bedtime (because they take longer to digest),sleep routines, everything! Eventually we just had to accept that he wouldn't be one of those kids. But, if it makes you feel better, he is the best sleeper now. Even asks me to put him to bed at times!

momof 3 said...

I got yelled at by my daughter's Dr because she started STTN at 3 weeks.I was told she was to little to be doing that and I needed to wake her up every 2-3 hours and feed her. I was told by my older kids Dr that when they STTN let them don't wake them because you will be creating bad habits.
Just take it a day at a time with the feedings and if she wants it thats good and if she doesn't don't push. She is her own person and will do things different than what the books and Dr says.
As long as she is healthy and happy don't stress about it.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I didnt' read your entire post, but here is some food for thought (no pun intended! but it fits!!)... I am a mom of 4. My first had solids right on "time": 4months cereal, then baby food, then solids at the 'recommended ages'. Child #2 NEVER tolerated babyfood. I tried several times and he hated the texture etc. So I breastfed him until he could feed himself crackers, bananas etc., and then he had both food and 'boob'. Children 3 and 4 exclusively breastfed until 10 months or so. They went straight from breast to solids (starting with cheerios, bananas, green beens and other easy to eat healthy foods). Breastfeeding exclusively really is okay for the fisrt year. My last 2 nursed until 18 months or so and are/were very healthy active children.
Napping more during the day isn't neccessarily going to fix your nightly routine. And if you nurse her to sleep that is okay too for the most part- but it has to be something your okay doing or your going to be stressed about it while she is nursing and it may affect whether she actually relaxes enough to sleep deeply. Despite the fact that she sttn a couple of times doesn't mean she is ready to do it all the time.
And if you take anything from my advice at all- take this: Your doctor is an educated person and a valuable tool to help you, but he/she is just someone with a degree behind their name. Sometimes we parents forget that they are human just like we are. They don't have all the answers. So...relax, take a deep breath and figure out what your comfortable with. Solids or not, breastmilk, naps etc. Parenting is no easy job, but it is the most rewarding!