Desperate and Resentful: 10 month old won't go to sleep then wakes every 2 hours - Page 2
My 11 month old is a terrible sleeper. She wakes every 1-2 hours and seems to be getting worse instead of better. Tried increased solids, only one nap per day, all the tricks. Nothing worked. I figured I'm sleeping terribly nursing all night long but would sleep worse if I let her cry every time she woke up.
I played with my son in his crib instead of rocking him to sleep. Peakaboo and taking a blanket and putting it over him like a parachute. After a while he began to think of bed time as more fun. And we paly for a few minutes then I leave him alone and hes usually asleep within 10 to 15. The only problem is he wakes up and I can hear him playing in bed. He has a mobile that has buttons and males sounds and he likes to turn it on in the middle of the night if he wakes up too much. But for the most part he only wakes up once a night to nurse now.
Same deal for us, my baby didn't sleep for more than 45 minutes until he was 10 months old. I also began to completely resent my baby, hate my husband because he couldn't fix it, and feel like I had zero emotional bandwidth. 5 months and 9 months were the wors points. Craniosacral therapy helped my critter settle a bit. A referral from your pediatrician should ensure insurance coverage. At some point, I had to evaluate whether my parenting choices were preventing him from learning how to self soothe. They weren't, but it was important to be honest about that. Relief finally came at 11 months when I started working with a counselor who primarily works with autistic children...and she helped me find ways to get him to choose to sleep. Using cues and soothing objects, avoiding triggers, using a very rigid routine to create predictability, and more. Now (12month), we don't fight about sleeping and the stress is mostly gone. He still wakes up every few hours, but getting back to sleep isn't hard. He's happier and I am finally sane again. Once I started workign again (12 hrs/wk), I was able to have some time when I was away from the struggle and stress of sleeping, and so I had more energy for it. I also hired the neighbor girl to watch the baby a few hours a week so I could have a break. Good luck...it's brutal and can destroy your self of self and damage your relationships and your family balance. So, find help wherever you can...for your baby, yourself and your marriage/household.
I haven't had a chance to read replies, but I could read without replying. My son, 9 months old, is very similar to what you describe - I can count on one hand the number of times he's gone to bed "sleepy but awake" for me or my husband, for naps or bedtime. He doesn't fall asleep easily, and for months DH would hold him while he cried until he fell asleep (always less than 5 minutes, but sleep wouldn't come without tears). His longest stretch of sleep is 3 hours on a great night. There were weeks at a time when he would nurse every 45 minutes (we cosleep). The worst was when he would wake up to nurse and instead of going back to sleep, would fuss, cry, etc for an hour or longer after... DH doesn't really get involved in nighttime parenting, so it was some rough going there. I know I haven't slept more than two hours together since November. Anyways, I guess I'm sharing to say it's not as uncommon as you think, and after reading the Sleep Book and the Fussy Baby book in the Sears library, DS definitely sleeps like a high needs child. I haven't come out the other side yet, and the only tips I would give at this point is to do what works for you and try not to compare with other babies. I also had to stop reading any articles/blogs/books on sleep (I made an exception for the Sears books). I'm sure that one day, DS will require less of me at night. I'm also sure that there have been nights in the last few months when I felt like I couldn't make it one more night. Good luck, and I hope you find a nighttime solution that works for you.
I haven't been on the board in years, but as I was contemplating how we've made it through two awful sleepers and come out the other side, I thought I'd check back in and see if I could give some encouragement. Because mama, I was so there. More so with my first, though my second was also a horrible sleeper, he was better in some respects and as a second time mom, I KNEW it would get better, so I dealt with it better. As a first time mom, everyone tells you it gets easier but you cannot see the light. I was so desperate, I get it completely.
A few things I've learned along the way:
- 10 months is the absolute worst time for sleep. Your child is processing major developmental milestones in his sleep - walking, talking. It is also teething hell. I actually blame all my sons' wakings on teething. It simply affected them tremendously. The first time either STTN was as soon as their final tooth popped through. I don't think that's a coincidence.
- Drop your son's naps to an absolute minimum. We dropped to one nap with both at 12 months.
- Get outside as much as possible. It will boost your mood and wear your child out
- Don't obsess about getting him to sleep for naps. Getting my first son to sleep became my obsession and my job for a year. I became neurotic about it. I would try for an hour to get him to nap for a 45 minute nap! So pointless. Do yourself a favor and if he won't nap after 20 minutes of trying, give up. Do something completely different and try again later. This strategy saved my sanity with DS2. And he never ever suffered from what the parenting books like to call "over tired". The more tired the better in my experience!
- First rule about sleep, don't talk about sleep! In my experience, those moms who say their kids STTN are lying through their teeth. And the price their children paid for the nights when they do STTN is not worth it. At all. It never fails to amuse me when my coworker who let all three of her children CIO from birth complains about how all three girls were screaming awake the night before. Children simply don't STTN, it's not in our genetic make up.
Now, do some children sleep better than others, yes. Creating strategies to maintain your sanity and to survive is key. I think your swapping strategy is great. That's what we did too from about 12 months on when I started night weaning. Do you BF? If not, I would recommend that you try trading off entire nights so that you have a complete break every other night. If you do BF, consider using the Jay Gordon night weaning method at 12 months.
Spend at least one hour every week doing something completely for yourself without the baby anywhere near you.
Find local attachment parenting groups.
The golden question: when will my child sleep better? For us, it was 14 months for DS1 and 16 months for DS2. This was after all their teeth had come through and my DH was taking care of most night wakings.
Just hang in there mama. I vividly remember my DS1 at about 2.5 years asking me to leave his room at night so he could sleep alone. It broke my heart. I couldn't believe this came from my high maintenance super dependent, cosleeping, night feeding baby. I say this because the time is going by slowly for you now, but before you know it, your baby will be four years old, a total Daddy's boy, and your second child will be well on his way to being the same.
I hope this helps even a little bit. You're an amazing mother.
Hi Mom4Gus....my son is now 2.5 years, and I wish I could tell you that he magically started STTN...but...having said that, things have vastly improved since those horrid nights of hourly/2-hourly wake ups.....
- When he was about 13 months he started sleeping "longer" stretches - about 3-4 hours. It felt like a huge improvement to get a longer stretch of sleep myself and at least I could see some improvement.
- Hubs and I continued to take turns co-sleeping with him. Somewhere along the line his need to nurse during the night got later and later...from 1am, to 2am, then to 4am. I can't really remember when it happened.
- And I really can't remember how the rest of it happened, but since he was about 2, he would wake around once a night to nurse and go back to sleep. There were many nights when he would wake, and hubs would get him back to sleep, so b/c he didn't need to nurse at night, I effectively got a full night's sleep....woo hoo.
- I tried to nightwean a few times using the Dr Jay Gordon method, but it didn't work out, caused more stress, and he didn't stop night waking, so we returned to nursing once or twice a night, then he eventually stopped doing on his own.
- We went through this really HORRID stretch just before he turned 2 for a few months where he would wake for the day at, like, 5 am or sometimes even 4.45am. It sucked, it really did. We tried earlier/later bedtimes etc, changing nap time etc but he had this internal alarm clock and would pop up at "stupid o'clock" each morning.
- A few months ago we spent a month in Australia, and, jetlag aside, he returned to waking at a reasonable time...like 6 or 6.30. (Anythign with a 5 in it or less is offensive in my book).
- A few weeks ago he was SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT...like...all night...about 50 % of the time. But....lately...he wakes every night at 11 and will not go back to sleep. This started around the time when we started potty training, so maybe it's related. We just deal with it, knowing that things will get better on their own, then worse, then better, then someday he will leave for college.
- But honestly, I feel so much better now than back when I wrote this post. I should point out that the above improvements happened without any intervention by us, so all those stupid books that tell you if your kid is not STTN by 3 months, 6 months etc are WRONG.
A few other things that helped me get through that period were:
- Every morning I would take my son for a walk to the park, stopping to pick up an iced coffee on the way. The walk to and from the park, and hanging out at the park with him (once he started walking) was about 2 hours, and I found it gave me a focus each morning. Plus the fresh air and exercise helped my mood. And the ice coffee felt like such a treat.
- Every evening when hubs comes home, he hangs out with DS and I get some solitude or exercise etc. I found it helped having this downtime.
The other thing is that, especially as my son got older and started talking and became more interactive, I have truly found it more fun to be with him during the daytime. We do lots of things together, and he likes to help me eg with cooking. The thing with a baby is that it's all very one way...me talking, me doing stuff etc. Now as a toddler, my DS is so funny and has his own little personality and interests.
So....as everyone says....it does get better but at the time it feels like hell, and rightly so.
Oh the other good thing that happened, was that when DS switched from 2 to 1 naps at about 16 months, instead of taking piddly little 30 minute naps, he started taking a glorious 2 hour nap. And I nap alongside him. And if feels amazing to get some sleep, glorious sleep.