Complaining about something*,  Le Bebe*

Who Needs Sleep?

It’s official: I have reached a new level of exhaustion.

I mentioned yesterday that Ruby doesn’t really nap. Well, apparently she doesn’t need to sleep at night either.

For the past month, my little wee-bean has exhibited some… interesting… sleeping habits. I know babies are often inconsistent, but she’s all over the map. One night she’ll sleep for a 5 hours stretch, one night it’ll be 3, but more often than not she is up every hour and a half to two hours.

All. Night. Long.

Let’s examine last night, shall we? I began her little bedtime routine shortly after 8pm, same as every night: warm bath, jammies, stories, then I usually sing/hum to her as she eats and falls asleep. For a while there it was taking me nearly two hours to settle her, but for the past 4 nights this routine has her asleep in 45 minutes. Sounds lovely, no? She seems to enjoy it.

…so much that she woke up at 11:30, then at 1:45, then at 3:30, then at 5:30, before waking up for the day at 6:15. Each time she woke up I left her in her bed to see if she could settle herself back to sleep, but when she began trying to eat / inhale her blankets I picked her up and just tried rocking her back to sleep.

Ohhh no. She was ravenous! She ate for 10 – 15 minutes before finally settling down again and falling back to sleep.

Repeat. Again, and again.

I don’t know what to do. I have a wonderful circle of friends and family who have offered me a million suggestions, but half of them conflict with one another and I have no idea where to begin. Until now I have strictly breastfed Ruby. The Hubster has all kinds of food allergies and sensitivities that run in his family, and I’ve read that breastfeeding may help Ruby miss out on some of the things her dad struggles with. So, I’ve tried really hard not to supplement her at all… but maybe it’s not working.

It’s so hard not to feel like I’m doing something wrong… everything changed when she had her nursing strike and her 3 month growth spurt. A while back Ruby went through a two-day period where feeding her was impossible. She would scream and arch her back when I tried, and cry because she was hungry when I stopped. The nurse I spoke with that day told me to stop using a bottle or pacifier for a while, so that she would form a reattachment to me.

She hasn’t really taken a bottle or soother since. She was never great with it–she often pushed it out of her mouth–but if I rocked her and gently held it in place she could fall asleep. I don’t know if there is another kind of soother that she can hold in place better, but the only pacifier she’ll take lately is me.

Despite that, she was sleeping fairly well. Until three weeks ago she was only waking up once, maybe twice a night. Then she hit her never-ending 3 month growth spurt and she hasn’t really slept or napped much since.

The thing is, she doesn’t seem… unhappy. She is often a little fussy after dinner until bedtime, but throughout the day she is the sweetest, happiest baby. More often than not I’m the grump because I haven’t had enough sleep. I do realize that some babies just don’t nap. I get that. But not sleeping at night too?


I’m just… tired. Tomorrow’s another day. :)

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  • Faith

    At the end of the day, I think as long as she’s happy, you’re doing your job right.  Everything else will work itself out as you slog along.  The last thing you need right now is to be doubting yourself.  This WILL all pass, as hard as it is to cope right now.  I promise. 
    As far as the conflicting advice goes, just listen and see what, if anything, makes sense to you.  The advice you get will always conflict because babies and mothers are all different, and what works for some will be terrible advice for others.  Some swear by the no-cry sleep solution, but that would NEVER have worked for Leah.  I swear by Ferber, but his method is torture for others. 
    This part of mothering is really really hard, and doing it on little or no sleep is even worse.  Please please let me know if there’s ever anything I can do to help!  I’ll do your dishes, fold your laundry, watch your baby, and let you nap!

  • pinkflipflops44

    Keep doing what you are doing.  There is a sleep regression that sometimes happens called the 4 month wakeful and sometimes it lasts a looong time.  We survived it, you will too! ;)  Lots of coffee.  And defintely keep breastfeeding.  If she isn’t losing weight she’s fine.  Plus, mommies are the best pacifiers! I don’t know if you have tried tommee tippee bottles but they were the ONLY ones my daughter would take.  She also settled on only liking Nuk pacifiers.  And didn’t really take to them until closer to 4 months.  I’d just make sure you are always consistent with what you are doing.  Can your husband try to settle her in the middle of the night? If my daughter would wake before she should be hungry again, we’d send him in.  Then she’d stop associating wake up time with boob time. IT sometimes worked, sometimes didnt.

  • a_wilson105

    Don’t doubt yourself! You’re doing great!! It’s all a guessing game.  with my kids we just tried everything, and if that didn’t work, we would try it all again.  Ivy used to arch her back and scream when I tried to feed her as well at that age and we figured that she wasn’t getting the milk fast enough ( both my kids were formula fed after 3 months for a variety of reasons)  we switched the nipple to faster flow ones and she was fine.  you may want to consider giving her a bottle of  your breast milk before bed instead of nursing her. tricky thing with breast feeding is you have no idea how much they’re getting.  it’s the best though. stick with it if you can. If not, it’s not a big deal.  remember you have to keep yourself sane and happy too!

  • Teacher Girl

    I am not a mother, but my sister was born when I was 11 and my brother when I was 15. Based on my experience of helping my mother, all babies are different. My brother was so peaceful and easy, never gave anyone a problem. My sister could not be soothed, no matter what, unless someone was holding her. My mother, step-father, grandmother, and I all took turns holding her all night long for months as this was the only way she would sleep. Can you imagine holding a baby all night and then going to middle school the next day? I was happy to help, but it was hard. I say this only to illustrate my point that all babies really are unique and it sounds like you are doing an amazing job. She is happy and healthy and that is most important!