Night nursing with a future soccer star

Kelly writes:

Firstly, thank you so much – had I not found your mumsnet thread and later your website, I would have been a gibbering wreck by now (well, more of a gibbering wreck). It is such a relief to know that there are other mums out there whose babies aren’t all-nighters.

I have two questions, I think:

How connected are nursing to sleep and night wakings? I nurse my 8 month old to sleep as it is the only way she will go down without tears, but she then needs to nursed back to sleep almost every time she wakes, which at the moment can be 6-10 times between 7 and 5. We start her off in her cot and then move her to our bed, and I don’t really mind the night nursing (bar the kicking, see below) but am flagging at the amount she wakes. but I’m worried that I am encouraging her to wake often by nursing her when she does wake.

Secondly, does anyone else out there have a kicker? And what can one do to reduce the amount of battering one gets in the night? I get pummeled for at least 15 minutes every hour or so and any attempt to protect myself by moving her or building a duvet fort around my legs is futile.

My thought about nursing to sleep is that it is often so much easier to nurse to sleep than the alternatives. The way it went with the Imp is that he nursed to sleep, until he decided not to fall asleep and then he had to learn to put himself to sleep. So I did it as long as it was feasible, and then gave up when it no longer worked and tried something else. That about summarises my whole parenting strategy.

I feel that it is important for kids to learn to put themselves to sleep, but all in good time. I don’t think there is any point forcing it too early, as it will just cause more headaches than it solves. But if you can try and notice when your child is ready and help them along the path, that is fantastic and may well help with the night wakings. But then again, it may not. See, there’s no real way to tell the reason your child is waking at night, and the reason he can’t go back to sleep. In short, teaching kids to self settle helps some with night waking, but not others. For us, there never seemed to be that correlation.

We didn’t really have a kicker so can’t help you there. Maybe our readers will have some ideas …

8 months is still fairly little (though it doesn’t feel like it). I think it took us a good 13 months to get the sleeping into a manageable state, and even then we hit some kind of regressions occassionally. But at least now, I can see the phases are temporary, rather than looking down a deep dark tunnel of sleeplessness. If only we got weekends off from our kids sometimes …

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3 Responses to Night nursing with a future soccer star

  1. CSB says:

    I have a kicker. If you find the answers, let me know.

    Other than that, he’s slowly sleeping longer and therefore spending longer in the cot. And the bad kicky nights are usually followed by a farty morning. :o)

  2. elisavj says:

    So late in replying, but I had to. I just wanted to say that I’m so glad that there are other Moms waking up over and over again at night. And sad that you have to suffer like I have. Baby D does not sleep, has never slept through the night, and we’ve been co-sleeping for months. We’re now trying to move him to his crib without CIO….yeah…which has turned into time in the crib for the first part of the night and then co-sleeping the rest. He’s a kicker, too. I was thinking we should re-swaddle in a very tight swaddler. Or use duct tape. Ahh duct tape can solve ANY problem.
    Just kidding. :D

  3. Liz says:

    We have a big kicker and while I don’t know if this will help at night, you might consider getting one of those toy gyms with a kicking pedal. (Something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Fold-N-Go-Kick-Gym/dp/B00005OOMA) Our baby will kick forever on that during the day and we find that, like a gym workout for us, it really gets the energy out and makes him more likely to be tired and sleep well when it’s time. I know that’s not exactly helpful in bed at night, but maybe if the baby is more tired, she’ll be less kicky. Good luck!

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