These are the honest confessions of a tired Mom with a breastfed baby who doesn’t sleep. I’m changing my diet to explore the possibility my baby has a dairy allergy.
I had planned to write Annabelle her five month letter today, but I am so exhausted that my brain isn’t functioning to do such a thing. Last night we had our hundreth sleepless night in a row.
These are the honest confessions of a tired Mom with a breastfed baby who doesn’t sleep.
Annabelle wakes every hour, crying/whining/growling at us, and only falls back to sleep after 1) nursing and 2) in a new place other than where she woke up. She rotates from Rock-n-Play to Pack-n-Play to our bed and then back to the RnP again. The cycle continues until 6am when she wakes up smiling and ready to start her day.
I don’t know what to do anymore and I think I have tried everything:
We don’t do cry it out. Period.
If she falls asleep in her crib, it only lasts 2 hours and then she repeats the same cycle she does if she fell asleep in our room.
I’ve given her a bottle on top of the boob to fill her tummy, but she still wakes up to eat 2 hours later.
It’s too hot for a swaddle. She doesn’t like them anyways and grunts and whines until she busts out of it.
She has been treated for acid reflux and does NOT have it.
We have a humidifier.
We have a sound machine.
She sleeps on top of a shirt that I’ve worn during the week when she isn’t in bed, so she can smell me.
I am going to try to change my diet.
Since she has always had sleep issues, maybe I am eating something that is upsetting her stomach. My four month old has mucous in her poop – which can be a sign of a dairy allergy. Annabelle wakes frequently during the night for no reason, which can be another sign of a dairy allergy.
I am starting with cheese. I already have a limited diet due to my sensitive stomach, and cheese (which contains milk proteins) can be a negatively affecting my little one. If you know me, you know that I love my cheese. I eat it as much as I can, whenever I can, and its the only dairy that I can handle. I am going to give it up for two weeks. If she starts sleeping better, then we know its the cheese. If not, then I will reintroduce it in my diet and try something else (soy perhaps).
The only thing that gets me through the day without a mental breakdown from lack of sleep is this girl… she is too cute, too sweet, and keeps me going.
Have you ever had a baby with sleep issues due to your diet?
Oh dear. I’m so sorry little Miss A is having so many issues. And you poor Momma. No sleep 🙁
Yes, even though I am reading up on your troubles with her…I must be crazy for still wanting to have a baby in the future!
I’m having sleepless nights over here but for teeth cutting. I have to watch what Grace eats so she doesn’t have gas pains at night. I had to cut out red sauce on pasta or pizza as well as chocolate before bed and that helped a lot! Especially with her spitting up.
I’m not breast feeding, but my little guy keeps me up all night too. He, of course is fine. He grunts and thrashes so much in his sleep. I’m sure it’s something bothering his stomach but hard to figure out when it’s only at night. It’s so frustrating but like you said, once you see their face in the morning all is well!
You’re not alone, mama! I don’t have a very good sleeper, either. If she’s in her crib, she will wake up, sometimes every 30 minutes or less. We’ve tried propping her up to make her feel snuggled, flat on her back, on her side, a million things, she just won’t sleep long periods in her crib. If I bring her in my bed, she sleeps. BUT she has eczema and it’s getting worse so I’m thinking of making some changes to my diet, I just don’t know where to start. Have you found anything helpful that you’ve read to get started?
Jess Beer says
I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the cheese, considering the mucus. I really hope it helps!
If it’s not that, I’d suggest finding a method of sleep training that works for you and you’re comfortable with. Sleep training sometimes gets a bad rap because people just think of cry it out, and that’s far from the only method – there are lots of them, and some involve no crying at all. We did Ferber with Abbie at 8 months and Abbie started sleeping through the night within two days and has been since, with only a few exceptions. It was a little bit of crying, but very minimal (basically you check on them at longer intervals – 3 min, 5 min, 7 min, etc). That isn’t the best thing for everyone though. I’ve heard of some parents that lay on the floor while their child is in the crib, then slowly work their way to the door and eventually out. I would probably wait until she’s 6 months though if you decided to go that route – some books say you can start at 4, but I think that’s a bit too early.
I really hope its the cheese, or that you figure something else out! Not sleeping stinks! 🙁
Here’s to hoping its the cheese too… and maybe some sort of sleep regression!
Bethany K says
We have sleep issues here for sure! But all the crying in the night is probably diet stuff, so good for you for being aware and making some changes! Dairy and gluten are the biggies, from what I hear.
Can I suggest something that’s not really advice? I’m also against any form of sleep training that involves crying (okay correction: I am FOR being there whenever a baby cries!), and there’s a really amazing FB group that I’m in called The Wait It Out Method where a bunch of us moms vent, ask for advice and encouragement, that sort of thing. It’s been extremely helpful the past 9 months (I didn’t join it right away). Around 4 months, sleep was rotten. When he started rolling over, then crawling, sleep was tough. Cutting first teeth? Sleep gets a little tough. Anyway, if you’re interested, it’s a private, unlisted group, but we can be FB friends first, then I can add you. Just let me know 🙂
Either way, you’re doing awesome. She’s too cute!
What is the longest sleep stretch she’s ever given you? It wasn’t uncommon for Victor to sleep 8-11 hour stretches before the regression hit, and it lasted a good 4 weeks for us. Once he was out of it, we started sleep training. There is some crying, yes, but more of the fussy kind. I’ve learned that if he falls asleep nursing and I lay him down, he’ll wake up 45 minutes to an hour later, crying. But if he goes down in the crib awake, he’ll sleep 9 hours straight. We figured out that if he wakes up somewhere else than he fell asleep, he freaks out.
If she’s never “slept through the night,” then it might be diet-related. Otherwise, I’d blame the four-month sleep regression and hope she snaps out of it soon.
Hey Carrie! The longest she has ever slept was 6 hours… on two occasions. She also slept for 5 once and 4 a few times. Other than that she was pretty consistent with 3 hour intervals, which I understood b/c she is breastfed. I am really hoping its the diet… then again she has great naps during the day so who knows!
Couple tiny things that might help. Heating pad under a blanket. The warmth might soothe (we tried this, but to be fair, we ended up doing cry it out so maybe you dont want my advice). Also, can you add some rice cereal into her bottle at night?
I have a little one the same age as Annabelle and went off of dairy when she was super fussy around 2-3 months old. She is a much happier baby now and I am slowly reintroducing cheese and milk back into my diet. This book also helped us with sleeping: The No-Cry Sleep Solution Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley
Tayler Morrell says
I certainly hope that my son won’t have an allergy (especially to cheese) when he’s born. I LOVE cheese as well!
Isn’t it crazy how the one little person who causes you to lose so much sleep is the same thing that keeps you going during the day? I hope you get things figured out soon. I know it has to be difficult, but it seems like you are handling it well. If changing your diet does not work, you might want to look into sleep training.. Like someone else mentioned, sleep training does not have to mean crying it out! This website https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UFv842plbVj6UvnI7tWl4bYCsENFsOTOo_c2pMzoh40/mobilebasic?pli=1 helped me so much, it has links for all different ages and methods. I used to read it while I was breastfeeding, and I never thought there was so much to learn about babies sleep! I was against cry it out also, and the pick-up put-down method was what worked for us. We have used cry it out at times (usually only 5-10 min max), but not until my son got much older. Stay strong mama!
Hey, I know I’ve commented on this before here and on Instagram, but my little guy is the same age as Annabelle and I swear they are twins! He also wakes every 1-2 hours at night absolutely screaming. He goes between the pack n play and our bed all night. He is perfectly happy during the day, we have him on reflux meds, etc. I just can’t figure it out, but it’s the most exhausting thing ever. Only difference is he has gotten 2 teeth in the last couple weeks, but this started way before that and keeps on going. I’m also not comfortable with cry it out (although that’s what our doctor recommended). 🙁 I haven’t tried the diet thing. I’ll be interested to see if it makes a difference for you. Just want to let you know you’re not alone.