Up every 2hrs......


Hey all,

I’ve posted about this before, but I gues I need some more encouragement or advice. My precious 9 1/2 month old wakes up every 2 hrs. We share a family bed and love it just wish baby would sleep longer. If I don’t immediately put him to breast when he wakes, forget it he screams and cries. He is cutting 4 teeth on top, but he was like this before. I admit we tried the let him cry it out, in his crib which is in our room, but my husband and I could not bear it…he actually fell asleep standing up holding on to the crib, I will NEVER do that again it broke our hearts :crying: We have gone to Drsears website and the like and have decided he will remain in our bed as long as he needs and we will continue with the pretty much attachment parenting…
I am just concerned if this is “normal.” Also, when it is time to go to sleep at night, I have to hold him and cradle him tightly or he will buck and scream and cry, but when I don’t let him go and give him the paci, he will fall right out. It’s like kryptonite :rolleyes:
This baby just willl not fall asleep on his own, nor without a fight. Now, he is a very curious and active baby. He is cruising and very observant and wants to go places and do things…I don’t know if that has anything to do with it.
I don’t want to complain or be soft, it is that it is really hard on my body because when I nurse him throughout the night, we fall asleep and I am on my arms. At this point my back is done, and I am getting numbness in my arms and severe pain in my fingers…I never thought I would really use the paci, but sometimes I have to because he will stay at breast forever and I am really hurting. I guess I can just suck it up, I guess I just wanted to see what you all could tell us. Thank you so much for answers in advance…



It sounds as if your baby is a “high-needs” baby, as Dr. Sears describes it. I, too, HATED the thought of using a pacifier, but with my second child I had an awful lot of milk and she wanted to suck, but did not want all the milk. She would calm right down when I would give her my finger or a pacifier. I used it for two weeks and then threw it away.

This baby girl was a poor sleeper. I want to encourage you to order the book “Infant Potty Training” by Laurie Boucke. In the book she describes the behavior of infants who wake at night because they have a full bladder. I could have written the pages about my daughter! Yes, infant potty training sounds weird and impossible, it’s something we Americans don’t hear about! But I began my daughter at 11 months (a little late) according to the advice in this book. Now when she exhibits certain behavior at night, I either take her to pee, or if she has peed I immediately change her diaper. She is sleeping better at 12 months old now.
Good luck to you. Just a thought to help you out. I don’t know if you have read the book “Nighttime Parenting” by Dr. Sears, you mentioned sites but no books. It’s a good book.

God Bless you,



This reply is from a man. My wife usually does the writing, and we discuss the various entries. With this entry, she called me away from the evening dishes to read the entries and respond. I won’t comment on the nursing, or the appropriate length of nursing. However, the family bed concept, in my opinion has got to go. The focal point of the family, is the husband and wife, and there is no place in the marital bed for the baby, except perhaps for a quick feeding, and then back to bed. My wife and I have three small children, and not one of them has slept in our bed (intentionally), ie during some feeding, mom and baby dose off. Husband and wife need their time together, even if it is just time together, as opposed to marital relations. In our opinion, having the baby share the bed, takes away from your marriage, and puts each spouse in a third position, God First, child second, then the spouse.

All three of our children spent several months in our bedroom, however. We think that makes sense to care for the needs of the infant, make it easier in the middle of the night. It also allows the other children to sleep.

All three of our chidlren were out of our by 3 months, and sleeping through the night somewhere during that timeframe. For us, there was no magic to the sleeping through the night. We had read some books on it. Then decide they were a bunch of bunk. Our approach was to assume that we would have one, or two bad nigths during the transition. With every child, they made the transition in stride.

Bottom line, for us it’s a function of setting priorities, and sticking to them. My wife and I decided before we were married that God had to be #1, our spouse had to be #2, family #3, then work, so forth. This is not easy, and immediate needs need to be met, but it has made our marriage a very happy, healthy one. We believe our children pick up on this love, and try to emmulate it.

Good luck and God Bless.


I am assuming this is your first child. First children can be difficult. Not because God makes them any different that the others who may come along, but new first time parents (through no fault of their own) have no idea of how to deal with the natural orders of life.

Our first child was much like yours, although, I already knew NOT to encourage the sharing of parents beds ( that has never been good for a Childs development.)

Our first child cried for the first 18 months. Nothing but holding, rocking and constant attention would quiet him. Our Pediatrician tried all he knew to help. To no avail. Finally, the pediatrician told us, let him cry. Let him learn that crying is not going to get him his every desire. Whew! It was hard! I hated it. We put his crib in another room. We put the pillow over our heads and endured…one night!!! LOL! The little stinker quickly adjusted and was so happy to have his own domain. His own bed. His own space. They need love but NOT affirmation for their every primitive urge!

My great-grandchild has been doing the same thing. Recently the work scheduled changed and Greatgram has to baby-sit. Guess what? One day of temper tantrums and Gracie no longer is a whiner, crier etc. She loves her new bed I bought for her and the playpen too. She knows screaming will Not make me take her out of them. She knows GGM will play with her, sing to her and cuddle her when she is good. I will change her, feed her and protect her. I will not be bowed to her primitive instincts. She is becoming a bright 8 month old and very sweet child. Her parents are amazed! She is an amazing child…so is yours. Permissive parenting is our instinct…it does not work nor form Holy children. Love is sometimes about saying NO!

Last but not least, our oldest was born with mild autism. That was a major part of his problem, but even that disappeared with firm but loving parenting. :thumbsup:


With all due respect to the other posters… The family bed is NOT permissive parenting. If a family doesn’t desire it, then so be it. But it is the best choice for many families.

To the original poster, if you and your husband enjoy the family bed, you do not have to give it up to solve your problems. I highly recommend the “No Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley. She has great suggestions in there for setting the boundaries you need and for doing it gently. She gives suggestions for the family bed AND for crib sleepers. Nighttime Parenting by Dr. Sears is also very good.



Hi all, in regards to the family bed, I will just share my experience. W/our first two, we had them in the crib nearby and w/number three, I really wanted to do the family bed. I was planning on extended nursing and felt that would help us get a good start.

Well, it just didn’t work for us. My son would spit up all over the bed and in the middle of the night, I’d have to get up and change the sheets and my clothes. He would squirm and seemed restles, which meant I couldn’t sleep. I had imagined it being like people described, waking for a few seconds, getting him latched on and both of us drifting back to sleep but it wasn’t like that at all. I ended up realizing that he really did better in his crib nearby. Later, I noticed that as his routine got more predictable, he still wasn’t taking a real nap during the day. I ended up doing the crying it out thing, which only took one day because in reality, he needed to just be left alone and get to sleep and once he figured that out, he was fine.

I’m not a big advocate of crying it out, and I love the idea of the family bed or room. My ds, 6, still sleeps on the floor in our room because he wants to and we are fine with that. But, I do think that we always have to be open to what is best for the child. Some children do much better with a stricter schedule and a nightime routine where they maybe have a bath, nurse and then go to their crib. Others do fine falling asleep w/Mom every night in bed.

I think there is a temptation to believe that there is one right way and there’s no way that can be true because kids are all so different.

In regards to the original post, I do think that if you are getting sleep deprived and totally frazzled, it is time to try something new. Sometimes it takes a while, trying new things, modifying it, etc., but hopefully you will find something that works for your baby so that you can both be rested.

Hang in there!!

God Bless,


[quote=daniellet]With all due respect to the other posters… The family bed is NOT permissive parenting. If a family doesn’t desire it, then so be it. But it is the best choice for many families.


With all due respect, I was not argueing it was permissive one way or the other. A parent sharing a bed sounds nice, but as I have two friends who are mourning the loss of their babies due to parental bed sharing suffocation, I stand by the separate bed parenting idea.

The rubber meets the road when you have to go through the loss of a child due to suffocation.

I know that statically the odds of SID and smothering are not far apart in the Crib or in the Bed of parents, I know.

It may be only 14 more deaths in a Parents bed, but this year again, one of those was a friends 5 month old baby girl. 10 years ago one of those was again a friends child.

Hannah and Mark can not be parented anymore. The parents were good Christians. The children were normal, healthy children with no disability or known health imparments.Now that is the bottom line from which I see the argument. I don’t think the experience will ever change my mind on the dangers of loosing a child no matter what the so called experts say.


this might seem silly, but have you tried a pacifier? I didn’t see it mentioned… i do think it is better for the child to be in their own room… good luck…


[quote=Marie]With all due respect, I was not argueing it was permissive one way or the other. A parent sharing a bed sounds nice, but as I have two friends who are mourning the loss of their babies due to parental bed sharing suffocation, I stand by the separate bed parenting idea.

The rubber meets the road when you have to go through the loss of a child due to suffocation.

I know that statically the odds of SID and smothering are not far apart in the Crib or in the Bed of parents, I know.


I am sorry for the loss of your friends’ babies. I would be curious about the circustances, though. There are safe and unsafe co-sleeping practices, as there are safe and unsafe ways to put children in cribs. I don’t think this is compelling evidence against cosleeping though. If a baby dies in a crib, we don’t say crib sleeping is unsafe, we say find ways to make crib sleeping safe. The same holds for cosleeping with a parent.


One thing we did was have my wife “pump” her breast milk, then freeze it, during the night I’d take the alternate shifts feeding. It gave her a nice break and as a father I loved the fact that I could help, even a little with the feeding. We did not share a family bed. I realize many men have work, I did also, and as a pilot I didn’t want to be sleepy during the day (go figure). To make it work we’d go to bed earlier than usual. It took some getting used to but we found it very helpful. Dads out there, try it, you won’t believe the experience of feeding your child all alone in the middle of the night. It’s awesome.


Do you have any good nursing books that could perhaps help you with technique?

I nursed two children, including at night, and I don’t remember my arms falling asleep or it really disturbing me all that much.

Another idea is to set up a crib, sidecar style, next to your bed so that everyone has more room…?

Other than that, I think there are only really two choices: Put him in his own room for good, or tough it out and hope that it gets better as he gets older.

I will be thinking of you!



[quote=daniellet]I am sorry for the loss of your friends’ babies. I would be curious about the circustances, though. There are safe and unsafe co-sleeping practices, as there are safe and unsafe ways to put children in cribs.

The circumstances were the children suffocated. That is all I know. I never probed farther as they suffer enough from the fact their children are no longer alive. I did leave out one other Parental Bed sharing death which was 20 some years ago. Joey suffocated also in the Family bed but Joey did have a clepht (sp?) palate which does not warrant bed sharing in the first place. His parents of course still mourn his loss also. But the difference was a handicap as opposed to Hannah and Mark who were normal healthy children.

Hannah somehow got wedged incorrectly while the family slept together and suffocated. How she was positioned etc., I don’t know. The same for Mark.

Safe to me is not a irrelative issue of choice and maybe the postitions were incorrect. Three death all toll from parental bed sharing add up to too much chance and grief in a short span of the last 20 years. I choose crib period where I know that for the most part a 100 + pound object is not likely to accidentally roll on a child or become an object of suffocation for the death of a child.


Sorry I can’t give any advice since my kid is only 4 months old. She has started sleeping through the night but I can’t give advice for when the kid starts dealing with teething since I haven’t experienced it yet.

I can give a funny story based on people talking about having your kid in the family bed. My wife and I have NEVER allowed the kid to sleep in our bed yet. But almost every night my wife has a dream that the baby is in the bed with us. While she is still asleep she will do everything from pat me down to see if the baby is on me to if I roll over say something “Careful watch out for the baby.”


I have 6 children and my last 3 were poor sleepers. My first 3, for some reason were good, although they all slept at least in the room with us until they were at least 2. I was more tired with the last three and tended to bring them to bed more. Once they have that habit, you might as well figure that they won’t sleep through the night until about 2. But, then you have to potty train them at night, so really you can’t expect to get unbroken sleep until they are 3.

My advise would be to ride it out. There’s no way you can communicate effectively with a 9 month old who doesn’t have the habit of sleeping through the night. Just wait until you can explain. I had to eventually lay down the law because I definately wanted to not have them in my bed past age 3, and they just had to learn to fall asleep on their own. It gets very old having to lie down with them, especially if you have other kids.

But, from my anecdotal experience, where children sleep has absolutely no correlation as to how well behaved they are. I had the most trouble, behaviour wise, with my oldest son, who was a great sleeper. My youngest son couldn’t settle down until I came to bed, and nursed well past two. He was such an easy kid and has never given me any grief.

Also, don’t get too overboard on this family bed thing. some kids will cling to these things forever if you don’t force them to stop. I have a friend who is always talking about the family bed and didn’t get her son sleeping on his own until after 10, she finally confessed to me! She also panders to that boy constantly and is generally spineless. He is disrespectful to her. So, too much of a good thing is bad, IMO. Remeber… Balance in All Things!


We used the old “let 'em cry” technique, took about a week and a half gradually increasing the lenght of time but worked like a charm. Since then they never cried for more than a minute when putting them down or when they wake during the night. Of course it won’t work with a family bed, that just never sat well with us.


Stay with the Family Bed. It’s definitely the way that things were meant to be.

One crucial thing that you might want to consider: Your baby is cutting teeth!

Ths can be EXTREMELY painful for some children. We have 4 and some of them have gone through teething phases where they wake up A LOT. We found that medicating with liquid acetaminaphen or ibuprofen the first time the child wakes can often help immensely. Believe me we are not into medicating children all the time, but sometimes it is really necessary.

The other thing it could be is hunger. I assume you are nursing. Is the baby still nursing a lot or has it lessened as some solid foods started. Sometimes the baby needs to eat right before bedtime so they don’t wake up hungry.

If I had to guess, I would say your case sounds like textbook teething disturbed sleep. Your baby could be in pain and that could certainly cause excessive waking. Our youngest nursed CONSTANTLY during the night when he was teething. Sometimes a little medication can solve the problem.

God bless you!


Unfortunately some foks decided to make this thread an attack on the family bed, but in answer to your actual question … Yes, this is fairly normal. We have had two co-sleep with us so far and both were tough cases the first year to 18 months. They both woke up several times during the night, and in particular woke up very frequently when teething, just as you are experiencing. That probably doesn’t help much when you are dog tired and struggling through it, but just wanted to reassure you that this will pass. Our first (who was a particular frequent waker) somewhere between 1 and 2 years began sleeping better and better each month. By around 2 years (and ever since), he sleeps 11 to 12 hours uninterrupt 95% of the time (the 5% being of course due to illness). Our second, now 13 months, has begun to sleep noticably better over the last two months and I believe we are past the rough spot. This WILL pass, so keep heart.

I’d like to echo two comments made by other posters. First, HAM1 is right. Stick with the family bed, it is certainly the way God intended things. Before the advent of modern society where we have large multi-bedroom houses, how has all of humanity handle this? Simple, at a minimum, kids (babies in particular) slept in the same room as their parents. And more often than not, slept with there parents. It is still so in MOST of the world today.

I’d also second CarrieLoon’s advice on seeking some breastfeeding counseling. My wife has co-slept and nursed two (still doing so). I remember her having similar problems very early on with #1. Luckily she got some great advice on breastfeeding positions from a supportive lactation consultant and has been pain free since.


I also, won’t be defending the family bed on this thread (but it’s a fascinating topic if someone wants to discuss on another thread :wink: ).

You made a few things clear, #1- you are loving the family bed, #2- you won’t use CIO and #3- you still expect to sleep? Just kidding :smiley:

I have noticed stages with more frequent nightwaking as well, growth spurts, teething, etc. During growth spurts babe will wake more often to nurse and may even want to play afterwards (instead of going back to sleep), a teething baby will cry though- so would a baby with an ear infection. I agree with the PP who suggested a small dose of tylenol, see if that takes the edge off.

Good news too- there is hope- my first son started sleeping through the night at 9 months, in the family bed–so–it can happen. Sidecarring is a great idea too for more space for everyone.

Did I read correctly that he likes the pacifier? If so —GO FOR IT! Seriously- more sleep for both of you, him not feeling abandoned in the process-use it mama!

As far as nursing laying down, you may still be able to get the hang of it- I am now nursing my 3rd child- and just finally got the hang of it last week :eek: . DS is going through a growth spurt and I just had to get some more rest, I wish I had taken the time to learn to comfortably nurse laying down about 4 years ago :).

Last- I want to second, or third or whatever the Sears Nighttime Parenting Book (I can send you my copy if you can’t get your hands on one- just pm me), as well as the No Cry Sleep Solution by Pantley (which I luckily have not had to use yet as I have great sleepers, but I know lots of people who love that book).



My son just turned one. We co-sleep and he nurses all the time, sort-of.

Around 5 months old he went for 4 hours without nursing when he first fell asleep, then every two hours after that. This gradually increased to a five hour streatch with follow-up feeding every three hours until he started “cruising”. Now that he is much more active during the day he is back to nursing almost every two hours at night. I, personally, think it’s because he is more active and eats less during the day. I know this can be very difficult. I work full time outside the house and have to get up at 6 every morning! Here’s my suggestion (most of which has already been mentioned above):

1.) Consult a lactaion consultant. She’ll be able to help you find a better way to nurse laying down. It can be very tricky. I was doing it wrong at first and couldn’t hardly stand in the morning. But it can be done comfortably.

2.) Go to bed earlier. It is very tempting to stay up and finish the dishes after putting the baby to bed. But the dishes can wait. You need sleep so you can give your baby the best possible care. And lack of rest can reduce your milk supply.

3.) A little tylenol for the teething. My son doesnt even want to nurse much when teething, so infant tylenol is all that helps. (Side note: my pediatrician told me to NEVER use ambisol or other oral numbing medication on children under 6 years old. There is research that links the use of such medication to seizures.)

Just hang in there. Try to make it as comfortable as possible and remeber they are only little once. Hope it helps!

:slight_smile: Lilder

(And please don’t let any posts on here scare you away from parenting how you know is right for your child.)


Thank you all so much for your insights. Especially, the last few starting with Ham1. I do try to give him a little tylenol and teething tablets. He is eating solids about 4x a day and I always try to give him a nice snack of oatmeal before bedtime.
The position I nurse him in is the side lying position…I am going to try to get a hold of the books suggested. I will check back for any other suggestions later. Thank you all again. It is nice to have people with whom we can relate out there :slight_smile:

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