My conjoined twin

I'm pretty sure I've said all this before. But.

I just have to say. I believe I may have given birth to potentially the worst sleeper in the history of babies. He went from being the king of sleep in the NICU, where I couldn't even keep him up to nurse for more than a few minutes, to being the worst sleeper ever!

We keep catching flak for how this baby is. But I promise, promise that it is not my fault! He refuses to sleep alone. Like, not even for five minutes. How in the world does he KNOW when he is put down? Swaddled and warm, my shirt in the bassinet so he can still smell me, completely sound asleep...put him down and he immediately starts fussing. Moments later, it is all out WAILING, even if I'm right there patting him, holding my arm/hands on him so he feels me there, shushing him, putting the pacifier in his mouth - utter melt down.  I pick him up, and immediately he stops. It's amazing.  If I can get him settled, which takes a lot of put down, pick up, nurse, pat, etc. (like, an hour or more of that), he still wakes back up after only a few minutes of sleeping alone.  Naps he has to be held in the sling. Lately I've been lucky to get him to nap more than 30-45 minutes at a time. Not enough sleep, I know...but what can I do?  I can't just sit perfectly still and quiet for 4-6 hours a day while he naps.  Even when I am being perfectly quiet he'll wake up and I'll have to jiggle him back to sleep.

The good news is that apparently cosleeping encourages frequent nursing. And increases supply. So...while maybe not good for my own sleep, at least it's good for him right? Maybe?

I wonder if that 10 weeks where he spent so, so much time basically alone (yes we held him for several hours a day every single day except when he was first born and I wasn't able to yet and the one day I was sick and couldn't go, but at that age he should have been "held" in my womb 24/7) is part of the cause of this.  And when I think of it like that, it's a little bit easier to deal with.

Anyway. I'm tired of the comments from people who don't have to (okay, GET to) take care of this baby 24/7. No one has to know about our night sleeping situation, but anyone who is around us during the day will see him napping in the sling.  I know this is just a season but I'm anxious to get some independence back.  And I know I'll miss all the snuggles when he's big and wants nothing to do with me.  Really only one person makes comments I think. It's still aggravating. Ugh.

I will say this - even though he stinks at sleeping, I'm so very thankful that he is overall a happy baby.  Even in the middle of the night if he wakes up enough he'll give me a big smile, and really he doesn't fuss hardly at all (unless we're trying to make him sleep alone!).  He is a real sweetheart.  And I'm thankful for my very supportive husband who loves me and our baby (and all our kids!) and puts up with this nonsense!

Also called the doctor an gave her Ben's weight from yesterday. The nurse I spoke with said it looked like he was gaining fine to her, but she'd have the doctor call me if there were concerns. So far no call! I guess I know which doctor I will not be seeing in the future. That means you, LC lady.

Comments

  1. "Really only one person makes comments I think." Sorry if I've ever made you feel like you weren't trying or doing everything you could! I know you are an amazing baby and I had one very similar. The needing to bounce, be held, never sleep longer than 20 minutes (that was her cut-off and she'd wail when she woke up b/c she was still so exhausted). I don't know how you are doing it with the other three little ones. If you ever want to "teach me a lesson" I'd be more than happy to come over and let you nap while I hold him and help him nap. :)

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  2. Oh no Kim, I wasn't talking about you at all! I was talking about my father in law. You have been nothing but helpful and encouraging. :)

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  3. My babies were never good sleepers and everyone always has an opinion of how you should handle it, truth is every baby is different and you just have to do the best YOU can. Hang in there it can be hard:(

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  4. In my experience, there are no perfect sleepers. Your baby is pretty much an average little dude. Try not to get caught up in what people say he should or shouldn't be doing. It's exhausting having a high needs baby (both of mine have been), you are doing a great job of meeting his needs. As he gets older, things will change. If there is one thing I've learned in parenting so far, it's that sleep with little's is always changing. Do what feels right for YOU. Great job mama!

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  5. Not that you need any more advice, but forget about what everyone says. Go to my blog (lettinggoofmie) and use the keyword sleep. My son was just.like.yours (except not a preemie) and he didn't sleep through the night until he was 2 (like almost never - maybe 2-3 times total) and even then sleep was a struggle. Even now that he's 6 1/2 he would prefer to sleep in our bed every day and wants to be snuggled next to me when he sleeps. I don't mind (now) but the worst things was when everyone would say something to me about how he needed to sleep on his own or I needed to put him down or gave me all their "helpful" hints that worked for their kids. None of it worked (ever). The only thing that has ever worked was cosleeping and now, after living with him for 6.5 years and having 23 other kids - I'm ok with that.

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  6. He just sounds like the type of baby who needs to co-sleep! Find good co-sleeping resources, and go with it. The good thing is that when you feed in the night, neither of you has to "fully" wake up, and studies showed better rested moms and babies. My foster daughter sleeps ok at night without me, but only stays asleep for more than 15 minutes for naps if I'm holding her (and she still naps every hour or two.) So I just plan on it in my day, or wear her in the sling. It slows me down a lot, but she does so much better than when I keep trying to put her down!

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  7. It's survival at this stage! You do whatever you need to do to get through this. The newborn stage was not my favorite time of my kid's lives, that's for sure. I'm sure Ben being a preemie probably has something to do with it. Each stage is challenging, of course, but even worse when sleep deprived. Hang in there!

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  8. My som was a horrible sleeper and would only cosleep until he was 3. Now he is a fabulous sleeper. Don't listen to people who judge, every baby is different.

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