or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › Maybe I'm not cut out for AP parenting...I'm starting to let my baby CIO but I desperately want help not to...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Maybe I'm not cut out for AP parenting...I'm starting to let my baby CIO but I desperately want...

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

My 15-month-old son is normally rocked to sleep.  This had been working ok, with of course some bumps along the road, but until a few months ago he was doing great with nighttime sleep.

Almost nightly over the last 2 months, he wakes up around 11pm and is up until about 3am...EVERY NIGHT.  We rock him in a dark room, and he just wiggles around and points at the door to go out of the room and fusses.  Occasionally he's hungry, most of the time he wants to play.  He stopped nursing when he got sick at 11-months, so I don't have that to use to get him to sleep. 

He's been waking up around 7:30am (total of 8 hours of nighttime sleep after counting the interruptions.)  He naps about 2 hours during the day (11:30-1:30pm).

We've addressed: temperature, amount of food eaten (nighttime snack, cutting out dairy), outside time (too much/too little). 

I've gained 10# in the past month because I'm eating to stay awake for my 4-year-old and to work at my evening job (hence, no naps or early bedtimes for me).  Exercise (my sanity) feels impossible on 3-4 hours of sleep, my husband and I are arguing all the time, and I'm yelling at my older daughter.  We have no family to help.

We are getting so angry and frustrated with him at night, that we are starting to let him cry for 3-5 min.  No more, because it breaks my heart to hear it.  It's not intentional, it's when we've reached boiling.  He screams, and then I go in there and he grasps me so tight that I want to cry...but I CANNOT take this anymore.  My husband is resentful towards me b/c of the nighttime parenting choices we've made.  I don't know what to do but I CAN'T take this anymore.

Please help me!  This goes against EVERYTHING I believe in but at some point I need a break!

post #2 of 41
My now four year old went through a months long phase like that too. It sucked. Honestly I don't think it's anything you're doing or not doing. Some kids just have major sleep issues.. We did find with my son that we absolutely had to keep him up until a certain time or he would have a huge wakeful stretch at night like that. Also...melatonin. We bought Source Naturals brand (whole foods and Amazon carry it) and gave him literally a tiny drop that was 1/10th or 1/20th of a mg and it would work within 20 minutes. Lots of people use much higher doses and actually the neurologist we saw for his sleep issues suggested melatonin. I felt pretty safe with such a low dose knowing lots of people use 1mg/ml each night with their kids. Good luck. It wont last forever.
post #3 of 41

That sounds really hard!  My older son used to wake up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night once in a while, but not all the time like you're describing.  When he did it, I would put a movie in for him and turn the lights down low and lie down on the couch while he played with toys and watched his movie.  If I was up for it, I'd knit or something.  I refused to "parent" him during that time other than to keep him safe.  But he was a little older, like between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2.  

 

I would be tempted to keep him up later, like maybe until 11 or midnight, depending on when you go to bed.  And if you need to, refuse to parent!  lol  I know that sounds terrible and I'm not even entirely sure what I mean.  But there was a time where my older one just did not want to go to bed before me (we're both kind of night owls), but I *needed* some time to do my own thing and I just could not be on duty during all of my waking hours.  So, after around 9:30 I would consider myself off duty.  If he pooped or need food or something, I'd deal with it, but I would allow myself to set him up a movie or show or even to pretty much ignore him if he was entertaining himself and do my thing and not feel bad about it.  And those times when we did each do our own thing but in the same space were nice!  I enjoyed it a lot actually.  It was nice to have him there with me at times that I didn't consider myself to be on duty.

post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 

Great idea about the melatonin...I've tried Calms Forte but I'm not great at giving it to him at 15 min increments (I don't want to turn on a light) so I don't know that it does much.

The first few times this happened we did try to see if he needed food, and then when he didn't we did just let him play...now we don't want him to think that when he wakes up it's playtime so we just rock him...and rock him...and rock him...but it drives me nuts!  So we try to "not parent" during that time as well, we kind of ignore him as he's rocking.

I have some hesitation about the idea of keeping him up really late...I already feel like he's so far below the curve of recommended sleep hours.  I have concerns about what continued sleep deprivation might do to him.  He does'nt necessarily seem tired until that 11:30am time (and sometimes, not even then) and generally he is a pretty happy little dude.  I wonder if  he might actually be OVERtired and that's what this is about...does anyone have any experience with that?

Thanks for all your responses.  A trip to Whole Foods for melatonin has just been put on our agenda!

post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 

I went to Whole Foods and they told me that melatonin given any higher than .5mg has been shown to cause seizures...so it made me a little too nervous to give it to him. 

Now he won't go down for a nap.

The anger and frustration I'm feeling is very intense right now...as horrible and detrimental as I feel CIO is, I can't help but wonder if that's less harmful than me not being able to control this anger I feel when I'm so beyond exhausted right now.  Ugh...

post #6 of 41
My middle son did this. We would block off the living room, lay on the floor and let him play while we dozed. We would trade nights so one of us slept soundly in bed, the other lightly downstairs.
post #7 of 41

We didn't have this precise problem, but when we were having sleep issues with my son I checked out Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers from the library, and it had a bunch of really helpful information and suggestions.  One of the things we did around that age was vigorously babyproof our room and let him come in if he woke up and would not sleep and just toddle around in there while we slept.  Usually he'd get in bed with me after a little bit and settle down, but even if he was up for a while we could mostly sleep through it--better for my husband and I than losing hours and hours of sleep.

 

It sounds to me like your son might indeed be overtired as he is getting quite a bit less sleep than the average for his age group.  Maybe you and your husband could read NCSS or something like it and figure out a game plan together?  That might at least resolve some of the tension.  It may well be a phase that just has to be endured, but it sounds like you all could really use some help either from a doctor/care provider or an expert of some sort if just to help get you on the same page.  I hope things get better soon!

post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by malayasmommy View Post

I went to Whole Foods and they told me that melatonin given any higher than .5mg has been shown to cause seizures...so it made me a little too nervous to give it to him. 

Now he won't go down for a nap.

The anger and frustration I'm feeling is very intense right now...as horrible and detrimental as I feel CIO is, I can't help but wonder if that's less harmful than me not being able to control this anger I feel when I'm so beyond exhausted right now.  Ugh...

 

I'd never heard that and I "know" (online) a lot of SNs parents who use melatonin with their children (including myself) so I looked it up and found the article below from the mayoclinic.

 

Quote:
It has been suggested that melatonin may lower the seizure threshold and increase the risk of seizure, particularly in children with severe neurologic disorders. However, multiple other studies actually report reduced incidence of seizure with regular melatonin use. This remains an area of controversy. Patients with seizure disorder taking melatonin should be monitored closely by a healthcare professional.  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/melatonin/NS_patient-melatonin/DSECTION=safety

 

I can't find anything about the very low amount of .5mg being of particular significance--I think the Whole Foods person picked that out of the air.

 

You could also talk to your Dr. about referring your ds for a sleep study.

post #9 of 41

When my son was this age he wasn't up for hours at night but he couldn't fall asleep on his own and he woke several times a night to nurse. This is what we ended up doing upon working with a sleep consultant:

 

I began putting him to bed and just laying down on his floor or sitting in the rocking chair with my e-reader. He cried, but I was there and reassured him. It took him an hour and a half to fall alseep at the beginning but I always stayed until he fell asleep. Then I began leaving the room after a while with the door open (he started getting silly and playing too much) and then ultimately we began closing the door and he now falls asleep easily on his own. This helped his night time sleep greatly although he didn't start sleeping through the night until he nightweaned at 23 months.

 

I would try an earlier bedtime if anything, rather than later. An 11 pm bedtime for a 15 month old sounds obsurd to me! My son sleeps from 7-6 or 7am and naps for 2 hours at 26 months. When he was that age he went to bed at 6:30.

 

Hope you find somehting to work for you soon!

post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by malayasmommy View Post

I went to Whole Foods and they told me that melatonin given any higher than .5mg has been shown to cause seizures...so it made me a little too nervous to give it to him. 
Now he won't go down for a nap.
The anger and frustration I'm feeling is very intense right now...as horrible and detrimental as I feel CIO is, I can't help but wonder if that's less harmful than me not being able to control this anger I feel when I'm so beyond exhausted right now.  Ugh...

That made me very nervous too. And even though our neurologist and lots of others told me it was safe, the research I did convinced me it was not 100% safe. However it also wasn't safe for me to be driving him around on no sleep. That's why I tried the tiny dose in the first place. If you're uncomfortable I totally understand, but if you want to try, use a .05 or .1 mg dose. That is well welllllll below what most people use and reccomend but it works for us. That is tiny. It's like a drop. You have to get a tiny syringe from the drug store that goes in .1 ml increments. I was surprised that literally 1/20th of a mg/ml ( that brand is 1 mg per ml which makes it easy) works. Good luck with whatever you choose!
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by callahansmama View Post

When my son was this age he wasn't up for hours at night but he couldn't fall asleep on his own and he woke several times a night to nurse. This is what we ended up doing upon working with a sleep consultant:

I began putting him to bed and just laying down on his floor or sitting in the rocking chair with my e-reader. He cried, but I was there and reassured him. It took him an hour and a half to fall alseep at the beginning but I always stayed until he fell asleep. Then I began leaving the room after a while with the door open (he started getting silly and playing too much) and then ultimately we began closing the door and he now falls asleep easily on his own. This helped his night time sleep greatly although he didn't start sleeping through the night until he nightweaned at 23 months.

I would try an earlier bedtime if anything, rather than later. An 11 pm bedtime for a 15 month old sounds obsurd to me! My son sleeps from 7-6 or 7am and naps for 2 hours at 26 months. When he was that age he went to bed at 6:30.

Hope you find somehting to work for you soon!

I totally respect that different things work for different people. When DS was doing this we got this advice again and again. Maybe he was that 1 in 100 kid who it didn't work for but it backfired miserably. We HAD to keep him up until around 10 or he absolutely would wake up around 1 or 2 and be up until 5 or 6. It made no sense but that was how his body worked. He had to be very very tired and in fairness, it was a battle to keep him up, he was clearly overly tired and I felt guilty, but it was much better to stretch him before bed and get a decent night of sleep. That up in the middle of the night business is pure torture. Not all kids are wired the same way and not all typical sleep advice will apply to all kids. We found this only through a lot of trial and error after reading a million sleep books and deciding to try something every book told us was "wrong". The melatonin was a lifesaver for those long middle of the night times while we were figuring it out though.

People with typical sleepers do not understand. Calling a late bedtime absurd just adds to the feeling that youre doing this wrong. Do what works for your family. Nobody else has to walk around in a sleep deprived fog but you, so you should do what gets you the most sleep. Try lots of things and you'll hopefully figure out what works for him.
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

I totally respect that different things work for different people. When DS was doing this we got this advice again and again. Maybe he was that 1 in 100 kid who it didn't work for but it backfired miserably. We HAD to keep him up until around 10 or he absolutely would wake up around 1 or 2 and be up until 5 or 6. It made no sense but that was how his body worked. He had to be very very tired and in fairness, it was a battle to keep him up, he was clearly overly tired and I felt guilty, but it was much better to stretch him before bed and get a decent night of sleep. That up in the middle of the night business is pure torture. Not all kids are wired the same way and not all typical sleep advice will apply to all kids. We found this only through a lot of trial and error after reading a million sleep books and deciding to try something every book told us was "wrong". The melatonin was a lifesaver for those long middle of the night times while we were figuring it out though.
People with typical sleepers do not understand. Calling a late bedtime absurd just adds to the feeling that youre doing this wrong. Do what works for your family. Nobody else has to walk around in a sleep deprived fog but you, so you should do what gets you the most sleep. Try lots of things and you'll hopefully figure out what works for him.

ETA: Callahansmama, this post sounds a lot like CIO to me too. If that's what you want to do, of course that's your choice. Being in the room or not doesn't change that the goal is to have baby get to the point where they realize no matter how much they cry they will not be physically soothed by mom. Eventually they realize it's futile to cry to get their needs met so they just go to sleep. I'm totally unimpressed with sleep consultants. It's pretty easy. Refuse to acknowledge your child's only form of communication and eventually they'll stop trying to communicate with you. I dont understand why anyone would need to hire a specialist to implement that.
post #13 of 41
My DD had a stretch of about 2 weeks of the party at night thi g. She was about 9 mo the old at the time and would be up from 1 to 4 or 5 am after getting a clean diaper and nursing lots. I also went with the baby proofing. I stayed in the. Yesteryear with her, closed the door and just let her crawl and play until she wore herself out. In the meantime I curled up on the floor and got more sleep. She was happy and quiet so didn't disturb anyone, I got to rest, and she got over her wakeful period. After 3 to 4 hours, she would start fussing and I could nurse her down quickly, put her in the crib and go back to bed. This phase corresponded with a time when she had a REALLY rough time napping and actually dropped her one nap. Once I fixed the nap situation (blackout drapes and a naptime routine), she slept much better at night. Now at 15 months she is still up multiple times a night but nurses back down easily. If your gut says he is overtired, see if you can get him to nap more maybe using a stroller or even the car.

My other thought is teething. My DD is getting six teeth at once now and that with the heat is really not helping. I find that some cold water offered at night does wonders. She has a few sips, settles right down and nurses nicely instead of arching and fighting the breast.

I am amazed that he is still enough to be rocked if he isn't sleepy. I wouldn't have that option at all with my DD. maybe playing for a while in a safe place would wear him out faster and you could be there but sleeping.

I did try CIO one night before I found out about AP. DH and I lasted five minutes. These days I still don't get the sleep I want but I get enough to get by. My DD always sleeps worse if she is overtired from missed sleep but not from activity.
post #14 of 41

This sounds a bit like my daughter when she was getting ready to drop her nap at 18 months.  If she napped - which she often needed to - she was a wreck at bed time.  But if she didn't nap, she would go down pretty easily.  

 

Most of the solutions I have seen offered sound like things to try, earlier bedtime, later bedtime, dropping nap, moving nap earlier etc. Also make sure that kiddo is getting enough running around and activity during the day. Nothing helps sleep like being genuinely tired.

 

My daughter is a night owl.  She still goes to bed around 10 (sometimes later)  our biggest battles came when we tried to get her to go to bed before she was ready.  You can't make someone sleep when they aren't ready.

 

 

CIO never really helps. Even the folks I have known who have done it say that every time they hit an illness, or a developmental leap or something like that where the child needs more attention, they have to do it all over again.  So, trust your instincts, be present for your baby, and see what works.  Don't be afraid to change course, or try something new.  Also remember that often things will change every couple of weeks and then you will be dealing with something else entirely.  

 

All kiddos are different, and you know your kiddo best. And if you need to walk away for a moment, then do. Better to get yourself on an even keel and then go back and deal with him, than to lose your cool and get everyone agitated and worked up. They know when you're pissed off, and they key off that energy.  hug2.gifIt is hard, especially when you are super tired.  Best advice I ever got from a veteran mom was: This too shall pass. hug.gif

post #15 of 41

I didn't let my son cry it out, you would have to hear in more detail what i did and this sleep consultant read all about my beliefs as a parent and my parenting style so the strategies were totally based on that. He was much happier after he began falling asleep peacefully in his bed (cosleeping never worked for us although I wish it had) he woke up with a smile for this first time in 16 months! It worked for us and it was a suggestion. Some of the responses to me trying to be helpful remind me of the whole "Are you mom enough?" article. I am an AP parent, just the same as all of you. 

 

Also, I have seen firsthand how children who stay up late are affected as students and learners. If a 3 year old is going to bed at 10 or 11 or midnight, how will they learn to get up in the morning for school when kindergarten starts? I can see that being a very difficult transition and for me, having time to myself and with my partner in the evening, make me a better mother no doubt about it. I said I said it sounds obsurd to me and it does. I never did have a typical sleeper by any means until my son started falling asleep on his own with the confidence to know that mom and dad were busy in the kitchen or living room and that he was safe and loved in his cozy little bed. Before that - nightmare for 16 months.

post #16 of 41

Oh man, that sounds really hard!  I hope you find something that works!

 

My 10-month-old DD does the wake-up-and-party thing sometimes (or the I-refuse-to-go-to-bed thing).  Usually it's because of tummy problems--she has a lot of food sensitivities, and weirdly, unless they're reeeeeally bothering her she'll be happy, just....up.  She wants to crawl and roll around, and only eventually gets really tired and crabby and cries.  Something to consider, I guess, but you'd probably have noticed it before if that was your kiddo's problem.

 

The way I do it is to declare any time after bedtime "no-parent" time, just like another poster upthread.  If she won't try to go to sleep, then she can be up, but she has to play quietly and happily while I do something--no parent amusing her constantly.  If she complains much, we go back in and try the soothing-to-sleep routine again (because she usually doesn't complain till she's really tired).

 

If she wakes up and starts crawling/rolling and can't be soothed to sleep, I just make sure she can't hurt herself and then kind of half-doze and pretend to sleep unless she gets upset and wants help getting back to sleep.  If she cries, I wake up all the way and nurse her or whatever.  Sometimes she just needs to squirm and then she can settle down all by herself.

 

Good luck!!

post #17 of 41

He cried but communication was not shut off and his needs were being met. He was tired and his mother was there to help him fall asleep. It might not be how you would do it but you can't say I wasn't meeting my child's needs. This wasn't an infant, this was a 16 month old with very good receptive language skills who was being verbally and physically soothed. It took him 1.5 hours to fall asleep the first night  and he cried some of that time, he was in the habit of nursing to sleep and for him it wasn't working because he would wake upset and need to nurse to fall back asleep, even then he'd be fitful and upset because he just needed to sleep. You don't need to have the stomach for crying it out because that is not what I did, you are just being close minded in my opinion and refusing to listen to what I am saying. My child is well adjusted, confident, loving, and loves to get in his bed at night and for naps. I really can't believe you would say his needs were not met.

post #18 of 41

And if you read my original post I said it took him 1.5 hours to fall asleep, not that he cried for that length of time at all.

post #19 of 41
My DD now 2.5 went through many changes with sleep and the most horrendous started at 15-16mo. Its huge developmentally. More for my DD then 18mo, she started walking at 16mo. If that means anything, not sure.

Everyone I know has a kid that goes down at 7-8pm and up at 5-6am. That's the norm (generally) I guess. Not for my night owl. She's always loved to go back to sleep after a 6am wakeup. She wants to stay up till midnight. So I just let her. She still is on this schedule. It's her natural rhythm I guess.

It could also be teething. That is STILL keeping us up at night here. What I can say is let him play in a dark boring place, then in an hour or so, put on your wrap and an album that's boring, I like mellow down-tempo electronic stuff. Tell him to come dance with you. Rock him to sleep and get in atleast 20 mins of a low aerobic workout. My DD now loves certain albums and eventually would ask to go in the sling/wrap! I'd always offer a stuffed animal to snuggle. And put on white noise to get to sleep faster and to stay that way.

It'll pass. If you co-sleep, it's much easier to settle back to sleep. Setup his crib next to your bed if that's an option. DH won't like it but you need sleep so he will surely agree I hope! HTH!

Oh and Rubidoux-- your post right above mine is very WELL PUT. It's so important for us as parents to let our kids be kids and not worry about time like we have to. I'm glad to hear your son loves school and transitioned to earlier bed times easily. Your post really put a smile on my face!!!
Edited by tillymonster - 7/9/12 at 11:58pm
post #20 of 41

I think the term CIO is so unhelpful. There is letting your baby at six months scream his lungs out for 45 minutes, and then letting your 15 month old (who understands that you have not disappeared forever) whine for 10 minutes. There is panic freaking-out crying, I'm-in-pain crying and there is I-don't-like-things-are-not-going-my-way crying. And I feel sometimes people pack them all under the title CIO.

 

From the get-go my daughter was not a "good" sleeper (I hate saying that), but more or less needed me to be there, needed to be rocked, I'm pretty sure you know the drill. I think what happened when I reached rock-bottom sleep wise is I made a decision, that having a sane and engaged mother some of the time is more important to me than having a drained exhausted mother all of the time.

 

I set a couple of rules, one was like "Unless it is a serious illness, or a fever, I will not get up with her during the night." She sleeps with us in the room, sometimes in our bed. So I comfort her in a very low hushed voice but I do not get up. She'll cry (upset crying, not screaming), or fuss around but when she realizes that we will not get up, she goes to sleep. We had a few night wheres she was literally playing in the dark on our bed while we were pretending to sleep. I used all my will power not to get up, not to fuss and not to get angry and scream at her to go back to sleep. I was literally talking to myself in my head "if you say something, she'll try harder to get you to get up".

 

I had to change my mindset from my baby crying is bad, to my baby crying is neither good or bad but she trying to tell me something, listen. Sometimes that something is "I'm freaking out here and I absolutely need you", and sometimes it is "I'm feeling cranky or I'm having trouble going back to sleep". The first I'm there no matter what, the latter depends on my energy levels/mood.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Life with a Toddler
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › Maybe I'm not cut out for AP parenting...I'm starting to let my baby CIO but I desperately want help not to...