just high needs? try something else?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2006
just high needs? try something else?
8
Mon, 08-09-2010 - 1:39pm

My DS will be 8 months on Wednesday and I am really nearing the end of my rope.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Mon, 08-09-2010 - 4:49pm

Well if the No Cry sleep Solution is not working - then you need to go with the flow or try something else.

I know a lot of people like the No cry Sleep Solution and it works for some, but it does not work for all. Have you read Good Nights by Dr. Jay Gordon? Personally I liked it better, but again what works for one..... I think you will find that`we will not recommend Cry It Out Methods for anyone - the research on CIO is that it is harmful and often does not work. A couple links

Mistaken Approaches to Night Waking (Dr. Paul Fleiss): http://www.nospank.net/fleiss2.htm

Harvard Study Decries Cry It Out: http://www.sleepnet.com/infant3/messages/534.html

Excessive Crying harmful: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/handout2.asp

And there are LOTS more!

So maybe he is high needs - Dr. Sears has some good tips on high needs babies: http://askdrsears.com/html/5/T050100.asp

My oldest is almost 12 and he was (and sometimes still is) a high needs kid. I used to joke that he did not sleep longer than 45 minutes the entire first year, and that is pretty true. So you are not the only one. Now my youngest is 15 months (and he is REALLY clingy and nursing all day and ALL NIGHT long right now - this too shall pass) and then there is the 4 year old (who is a type 1 diabetic) - basically each one is different and had different "issues" with sleep etc. So I would not say anything is "wrong" with your child - maybe the expectation needs to be revised. I know that is hard - I am home with my kids all day everyday too(I homeschool, my husband works 45 minutes away and I live in a rural area - not a neighbor in shouting distance).

At nap time instead of TV have you tried all 3 of you laying down (or sitting on the bed) and reading a book to DD while DS is nursing? This is something that has worked well for us. To me 45 minutes does sound like a long time to get some babies down but not others. When my oldest took that long then it was longer than he would nap so.....not really worth it. He rarely napped at all after the age of 1 year. On the other hand Phillip usually took about 20 or 30 minutes to get to sleep unless he was really tired and he took an afternoon nap until about 1 year ago (he stopped around the time that he weaned).

When you said "He fell asleep nursing at 7:20; woke up at 7:50 and screamed in my arms for 25 minutes before falling back asleep" I am curious why didn't you just nurse him when he woke up?

At night instead of sleeping on your side (I can not sleep on my side) you can co-sleep and sleep on your back. Then baby can be on top and nurse. If you look here and scroll down to variations you can see some examples: http://www.mother-2-mother.com/tut-layingdown.htm

Another thing you might try is putting him down later at night and see if that helps. We pretty much do 8 or 8:30 with the younger ones. Graham wakes several times a night to nurse. Phillip usually get up once (sometimes plays musical beds). And then they sleep until about 8am. I do not like to get up so early so that works for me. GRaham usually takes an after lunch nap for about an hour. he stopped taking a morning nap long before his first birthday. Are you still trying to do 2 naps or just one?

Not sure that was much help but hopefully you know you are not the only one in the situation. And remember it is ALL temporary. Hang in there!



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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2006
Mon, 08-09-2010 - 6:13pm

Thanks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
Mon, 08-09-2010 - 8:17pm

I have had experience with children that were high needs in completely differently ways. But one thing I've done with both (and something I might suggest) is quit fighting the nap. I tried and tried with my first to get her to nap because it was nap time, but she would fight for an hour ... only to sleep for about 45 minutes. I was frustrated. I wasn't enjoying my baby. And I quit. And when I did things got so much better (this was my first so I do realize it's a different situation). In the end she turned into a great napper, but I began to recognize her cues a bit better. And when I say great napper, I mean that she slept when she needed too ... I don't mean she slept for hours or anything. It just wasn't a fight anymore.

My second was relatively easy to put to sleep but even in the hospital she refused to be alone ... which means she wants to be held all the time. We literally began cosleeping IN the hospital. To keep her asleep she slept in untraditional locations ... in the baby swing. In the sling / baby carrier (in fact she spent a LOT of time in the baby sling). In her carseat. NEVER, EVER in her crib. I can think of two naps she took in her crib as an infant. My second child was very high needs all the time, except when she wasn't. When she wanted to do her own thing, she can do it for a while (even now at age 3). But when she's not into doing her own thing, she intensely needs mom. I would nurse for HOURS each night. And in fact found that if I nursed her on the couch for hours (long after older DD was in bed), I could sometimes put her down around 9ish and she would sleep for a couple of hours. But if I tried to put her down shortly after falling asleep, she was up quickly.

Also, at 8 mos, as I remember this being a trying time with both my girls, I highly suspect teething. I usually just nursed through it, but I know some moms find relief w/ teething tablets and / or tylenol / ibuprofen. I fortunately don't have an issue w/ cosleeping in general, althoughI certainly don't rest as well, but broken sleep was better than no sleep for me.

My youngest did not sleep through the night until she was nearly 3 ... literally never more than 3 hours (with the occasional amazing 4 hour stretch). From 2-6 a.m. most nights I was nursing (hence my love of cosleeping). But no amount of sleep training would have worked for her. Her night wakings were always related to hunger and pain.

I don't know if any of that helps, but I just found that no matter how frustrating the situation was when I quit trying to do "the right thing" and just let things be the way they were ... I was able to deal with it better.

For entertaining the oldest while the littlest one is nursing / sleeping, we did books, puzzles, candyland, and I got her very interested in coloring / art. And yes, she did watch more tv than she did before her lil sis was born, but still her TV seems relatively limited compared to many kids we know. One thing you might consider is a "to do" jar full of slips of paper on which there are things your oldest DD can do by herself ... have a tea party w/ dolls, color a picture, look at a book, playdough (even though this requires mom set up) ... when you need a few minutes to concentrate on the little one or just need a moment to yourself, have her draw something from the jar and that is the activity she must do. Oh, and I also found that being the patient to my daughter's doctor and the client to her beauty salon, allowed me some relatively still time (even nursing a baby), while my DD took my temp, looked in my ears, or combed my hair. It was actually a bit relaxing at times!!

Sorry to ramble, but I hope something is useful. I do know your in a tough spot. Sleep deprivation is no fun!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2006
Mon, 08-09-2010 - 9:57pm


Honestly, I think this is part of why I'm so stressed over all of this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
Mon, 08-09-2010 - 10:12pm

Well I'm happy to tell you that he is who he is and that you're not making him anything other than loved by responding to his needs. We all do the best we can do.

If you really feel that there is something beyond "high needs" going on, I'd suggest getting a second opinion from your doc.

I seem to recall that you're facing some food allergies (dairy, yes?). Is it possible that he's still dealing with another food sensitivity? At this age, I believe they could do a RAST test ... it's not perfect, but might be useful. Has reflux been ruled out (I ask since you mention arching out of the carrier specifically).

In hindsight we think my youngest almost certainly had quite severe and quite untreated reflux (still no diagnosis but she's eating a bit now and generally getting better so we've quit exploring). I asked the doc once but because she wasn't vomiting and I hadn't been in there complaining about my incredibly fussy baby she just really dismissed the possibility (and it would have taken more than a hunch for me to have medicated anyway).

But for us, constant nursing and holding did make a difference. She needed me ALL the time. But it was rare, when she had me, and especially if she was able to nurse, that I couldn't calm her. And now at 3, she's amazing. I still nurse her to sleep, but for all the demands she put on me until well past her 2nd birthday, she is blossoming into an amazingly independent little girl. She still intensely needs me sometimes, which is fine with me, but more and more she's so confidant and comfortable exploring on her own. There was a time I really never thought that day would come, and I definitely questioned the wisdom of somehow encouraging her by responding to her constant demands. But at the same time, I knew it was right. I knew I was building her up. And it has paid off.

If you think something is wrong, keep looking for answers. But if you feel that you really do make the difference for him. Know that it's ok to feel tired and frustrated, but know that you're also doing a great job by being there for him whenever he needs you however often he needs you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2006
Tue, 08-10-2010 - 7:51am

Yeah, it's definitely dairy and soy -- I just tried soy a few weeks ago and got a mucous and blood stool after 5 days, so I suspect it took the soy a few days to build up in my system.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-03-2008
Tue, 08-10-2010 - 2:30pm

I just wanted to offer my opinion on the situation. You said “I'm

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2006
Tue, 08-10-2010 - 9:52pm

I know I need a change.