Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bad Sleep Habits

I've developed a few bad habits lately with Lucas. Bad habits that I clearly remember forming with Ryan. You see, Lucas wakes up a lot at night. The first couple of times, I can usually rock/bounce or nurse him back to sleep. But as the night progresses I get more tired and I lack the energy or motivation to put Lucas back in his crib. I want to go back to sleep. So I do the easy thing.....I bring Lucas into bed with me. Every time he wakes up next to me, I just nurse him back to sleep. We both get some sleep, and I don't have to leave the comfort and warmth of my bed.
I've been noticing lately that Lucas doesn't show as much interest in nursing during the day. I try to nurse him every 3 hours, but after 5 minutes he loses interest and seems satisfied. He's nursing less and less during the day. This week I suddenly realized why this is happening. He's getting more calories at night! All those little sips here and there in bed next to me are adding up. Another clue that tipped me off is that he's waking up in the morning covered in peepee. Too much milk at night and not enough during the day.
So I'm trying to reverse these bad habits. I can't force Lucas to nurse during the day if he's not hungry. So I need to start nursing him less at night. I started Tuesday night. Here's how it went.

7:30pm: Nurse and rock Lucas to sleep.
8:00: He's asleep! Finally some time to put away all the laundry and perhaps relax a little bit before bed. (Adam is putting Ryan to sleep)
8:02: Lucas is awake and crying a little bit. I give it two full minutes but he is only getting louder.
8:04: I go in and bounce/shush him back to sleep, which takes just over 5 minutes.
8:10: He's asleep!
10:00: I go to bed
11:45: Lucas is awake. I go in and pick him up, and he's immediately rooting around, acting hungry. He nurses for a full 10 minutes on one side, then falls asleep on the second side. I spend the next 30 minutes bouncing/rocking him back to sleep.
12:30: He's asleep!
1:00: Ryan wakes up and climbs into our bed. Kicks around a while before going back to sleep.
1:30: Lucas is awake again. I know he can't be hungry again, so I try walking and bouncing him. I'm cold and tired and he isn't calming down.
1:45: I give up and take Lucas into our bed.
3:00: Lucas is awake again. I nurse him back to sleep in bed.
4:30: Same
5:30: Adam is up for work, which wakes up Lucas and I. I quiet him with nursing, so that Ryan doesn't wake up. (Ryan, by the way, is sleeping partially on top of me at this point)
6:30: Say bye to Adam, nurse Lucas a little more.
6:45: Ryan is awake, so me and the boys get up for the day.

To be honest, I've really been beating myself up about the whole "giving up" part that always happens in the middle of the night. I know that what I'm doing is leading to bad habits. But I'm just so tired at 1am and I'm too lazy to stick with the plan.

I think I need to just accept the fact that I'm going to have to miss some sleep in order to teach Lucas some good sleeping habits.

*As I sit here typing this on Wednesday night, Lucas has already woken up 3 times between 8 and 9pm. 


  1. Oh honey. He's still pretty young to be forming sleep habits. But with that kind of sleep, how can you even get through the day?

    I would try going to bed yourself at 9 even though that cuts down your time to get stuff done. I think if you had a little more sleep under your belt, maybe you could stick to your plan. And don't beat yourself up, just change things that don't work! Could you try and feed Lucas a bunch right before bed?

  2. Hey Clara! I'm just really paranoid, as you probably understand, that he's going to end up with Ryan's sleep habits. The thing about Lucas is that I absolutely cannot force him to eat when he doesn't want to. Cluster feedings just don't work with him.
    I am thinking about trying a dream feed, if I can pump enough into a bottle.

  3. Is Adam willing to help out at all? I remember with Susannah, if I went to her at night she would NOT settle unless she nursed, but if DH went, he could get her back to sleep. They know mom's got the milk, but daddy doesn't. Yeah, it sucks that daddy is tired to go to work, but mommy's job is just as hard on no sleep!