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I'm done with advice. I just need to vent. - Page 2

post #21 of 27
BIG mama, I have so been there. I didn't see how old your DD was, but wanted you to know it WILL get better. Around 8-9 months was the worst for us, and it slowly started getting better by 10 months. From then on he began a consistent nap/sleep schedule and rarely cries before sleep anymore.

My DS was always a sleep fighter (still is, but it is a little different with a 2 year old ) and ALWAYS cried before going to sleep. He was so alert and active, and didn't ever want to miss a thing. It took me holding him tightly, and rocking him in a PITCH BLACK DARK room, with white noise (fan) and he would cry for about 10-20 minutes and then fall asleep. I was at my wits end most days with him, because he had just gotten in this cycle of overtiredness and I never seemed to catch his "sleep window." The when he began walking around 9.5/10 months, I think he finally tired himself out so much that he didn't resist sleep as bad, and he started going to sleep without as much of a fight. He also dropped to one longer nap a day, rather than 2. I did have to nap with him, because he would wake to nurse 1-3 times during his nap, but I was so exhausted I needed the sleep too.

One book that really helped me was Sleepless in America. It has great ideas for structuring your day to help maximize sleep. I think my biggest mistake with my DS was trying to follow his cues so much that I spent all my energy doing that, rather than having a more structured routine to our day. (I was just so exhausted though I couldn't really go about my day.. he was also waking every hour or more through the night.) Not saying that I should've put him on a "schedule" but some kids do thrive on a routine that is set before them.. Now that we do have a routine to our day, he does SO much better. Also, a very SHORT bedtime and naptime routine works best for him... and now that he has predictible naptimes and bedtimes (12:00 nap, 9:00 bedtime) we start to "wind down" about an hour before those times approach. He needs that time to settle, because his mind and body are all over the place.. he is very smart and active and has a really hard time quieting his mind.

I suggest trying to structure your days to be somewhat the same for a week, don't try to force any naps, and write down the times where she seems most tired and/or falls asleep. See if there is a pattern to her sleepiness at all. The next week, try to keep the same "schedule" and "force" naps during the sleepy times. The routine that works best for us is----

6-7:00- Wakeup (DS wakes at this time no matter what, not my choice.. )
Breakfast and Sesame Street
8-11:00ish- we get out of the house.. go for a walk, run errands, play outside
11:30- lunch
12:00- naptime
1:30-2:00- wakeup and snack
2:00-5:00- chores/playing in the house (I try to incorporate him into the chores, but he usually chooses to play independantly with frequent check-ins)
5:00- start making dinner, DH comes home
6:00- Dinner
7:00-8:00-- DH plays with DS (usually somewhat active play)
8:00- quiet play (we dim the lights, turn off tv, read books and draw, etc)
9:00- brush teeth, jammies, and bedtime (DH puts him to sleep by holding him on his bed)

And the best part is he actually STTN most nights now too! That's a whole nother thread though.. took nightweaning and moving to his own bed around 19 months, but went really well!

good luck mama, it will get better! hang in there!!!!
post #22 of 27
I am so sorry mama! Hugs. I have been where you are at. My DD is a horrific sleep resister and terrible night sleeper. She is also super high needs and I was cracking apart by the time she was 5/6 months old. I have to say though, that contrary to what alot of people say sleep books did not help us. Especially the No Cry Sleep Solution. I think it works for most babies, but not ours. I tried her ways. For 2 solid months. And then I made some shocking discoveries while on vacation (when I had to abandon some of those techniques). Sleep does not beget sleep in our house. Too much napping during the day results in 8-9 hours of total sleep at night. And trying to get her down at the first sign of fatigue only resulted in 2-3 hour struggles. DD just defied any schedule.

On vacation she took shorter naps, sleeping probably a total of 2-2.5 hours a day, when she was tired. And she began sleeping 11 hours at night, in longer stretches (meaning 3-4 or more hour chunks instead of waking every 1-3 hours) instead of the 8-9 hours a night she was sleeping. It seems to be continuing since we've been back - about a week.

In my experience I realized DD sleeps 12-13 hours a day max total and if she naps too much she doesn't sleep well at night. What I learned is that taking YOUR baby's cues, not other people's or the sleep books advice is best. Driving myself nuts trying to get DD to nap enough or when the books told me she needed to go down was driving me crazy. We have less nap time now, but I have better night time sleep, which makes me better able to deal during the day. And going down for naps is less of a struggle because she is actually REALLY tired (she could begin yawning like 1.5 hours before this) and ready to pass out, which is also a real sanity booster.

I hope you find a solution for your LO...
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tattooed Hand View Post
On vacation she took shorter naps, sleeping probably a total of 2-2.5 hours a day, when she was tired. And she began sleeping 11 hours at night, in longer stretches (meaning 3-4 or more hour chunks instead of waking every 1-3 hours) instead of the 8-9 hours a night she was sleeping. It seems to be continuing since we've been back - about a week.

In my experience I realized DD sleeps 12-13 hours a day max total and if she naps too much she doesn't sleep well at night. What I learned is that taking YOUR baby's cues, not other people's or the sleep books advice is best.
THis is a good point. My kids have always been on the very low end of sleep needs, gave up naps early, and always got the most sleep at night. they were both down to 1, about 2-hour nap by 10 months, and done napping at 26 and 28 months. Sure, they COULD have napped from 3-4 pm when they were 2, when they were actually tired, but then they'd be up until 11pm or midnight and still be up at 6am the next day and only net about 9 hours of sleep...whereas with no nap they'd get almost 12 - they woke between 6 and 6:30 am (at the LATEST; regularly between 5 and 6am) no matter what time they went to bed for the first 4 years of their lives, both of them, and only in the past year have they regularly slept until 7am. So pretty early on I learned to maximize nighttime sleep hours and then work naps backwards from there.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmamalizzy View Post

Please tell me this will get better. Lie if you have to , but, honestly, will it get better?
For us, it hasn't. My son is 5, and he simply needs less sleep than average. Way less. Now it's manageable because he can entertain himself, but the infant stage was really, really difficult for me. The best thing I found was to work in uninterrupted sleep 1-2 times a week (for us, it was one evening and one weekend day during the daytime).
post #25 of 27
Like tzs, I discovered once after having to go to the bathroom that DD sometimes just needs to fuss for 5 minutes and she will go to sleep. Not every time - sometimes she needs to be rocked/nursed to sleep. But some days she is just overly wired, and holding her sends her right over the edge. I realized that on those days, trying to force the holding thing meant hours of crying and flailing, and extreme frustration for both of us. Putting her in her crib, stroking her a few times, and telling her softly to go night-night, and then sometimes even walking away, was the only thing I could do for her. She would fuss or cry for just a few minutes, and then completely conk out.

I didn't see the age of your babe, but I know that when DD was getting her first two teeth, she slept HORRIBLY. Once those two came in, however, she slept much better.

Finally, some kids just don't nap well. DD is ten months and usually takes a single one-hour nap a day. That's it. She will, however, sleep for 13 or 14 hours straight through the night. I put her to bed between 6:30 and 7:00 - and the next few hours are my "me time." That's when I pick up the house a bit, do laundry, get things ready for the next day, and then RELAX before going to bed.
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
I said this once already, but I have to say it again - Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your helpful responses. It is endlessly comforting for me to know that I'm not the only one who has/had problems like this. DD is 5 months, by the way, and since posting this I've been trying to just relax more about the napping thing. Instead of trying to force her down, I'm trying to just give her frequent opportunities to sleep in the ways I know are easiest for her, even if they're on the sleep-association no-no list. I'm also trying to give her more time when she doesn't have to actively participate in life. I realized that because she doesn't like being worn, I stopped doing chores and felt like I needed to interact/play with her all the time. I'm hoping that if I ease up a bit she'll be able to relax a bit more...and maybe fall asleep one of these days! If not, at least I'll have a cleaner house.
post #27 of 27
DS 2 is almost a year old. He does NOT SLEEP. It is incredibly hard, but I find that adjusting my attitude helps some. Also, he responds a bit more to daylight than he used to- he may not nap during the day, but he does sleep at night provided the stars align just right and I do the right rituals (swaddle and pat his back until he falls asleep on my shoulder- then let him stay there for half an hour before bed... then slide into bed attempting not to move him too much, unswaddling as he goes so I can ensure that he is still touching me somehow...)


Sanity during the day is better than it was as he is getting more mobile. He doesn't sleep, but he does play more on his own and he cruises the furniture and unshelves all the toys for a good 20 minutes at a time. A good carrier has been a must here as well.
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