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HELP!! 12mo won't sleep unless she CIO!!! - Page 2

post #21 of 59
I have 2 champion sleep fighters. Ds1 would hit or pinch himself to keep himself awake until he discovered pinching mama had the same effect with less pain :LOL Ds2 is going through a never-want-to-sleep phase right now because he is a new walker and just wants to go go go! He gets so overtired, but just can't settle regardless of when I put him down. He sometimes just needs to cry, but I always stay with him until he settles down enough to nurse. What has worked with both my boys (as an alternative to crying) was to catch them at that phase right before the overtired meltdown and just tickle, bounce, and giggle until they get to that wild, giggley stage. It seems (for us anyway) the emotional release of the all out laugh was just as much of a release as crying but much more pleasant. I got the idea from my dh who always giggles hysterically when overtired (usually because he is teasing me). He NEEDS that release when he is overtired, once he is done he drops right off without a problem. So far it has usually worked with my boys, plus it has made bedtime much more enjoyable. It is good for children to realize they need to have a release for all the overstimulation they face, and it is great to find positive ways to release it.
post #22 of 59
Wonderful wonderful post FreeRangeMama
post #23 of 59
Sorry if I might repeat but I haven't read all of the posts...

My ds resists sleep, too. Today, for example, he said he did not like sleeping and did not want to go home for a nap. So I said "ok, we won't... we'll just take a little walk" and minutes later he was fast asleep in the stroller. I was amazed. I figure that if I take away the stress of thinking that he had to go to sleep, he would just relax, and it worked.

At nighttime, we try to end the day like the sun sets: gradually. Lights gradually go out; noise gets gradually softer; activities get gradually calmer... we spend a lot of time in the bedroom reading and talking and playing quietly. Eventually ds just finally yawns and asks to nurse and falls asleep. Sometimes this is at 8:30pm and sometimes it's at 10pm.

I have just learned to accept the fact that he won't be keeping a consistent sleep schedule at this phase of his life. Too many interesting developments going on. When he was one, he was learning to crawl and walk and climb, then language development later on, and now he's potty learning... So many things to keep his mind active. He will often drift off and then perk up and ask me a question or tell me a story about something that happened today, yesterday, or last week...

The most important thing I try to do is recognize his sleepy cues. Whenever he yawns or rubs his eyes or starts tripping over things or gets crabby, I begin the process of setting the sun for him.

Also, we always nurse in the same place - either on the couch or on the bed. Little things that happen each night can help cue him to know that it is time for bed. We've talked about how when the sun sets it's bedtime, and last night I suggested that we take an evening stroll, but ds said "no! we can't! the sun has set! it's time for bed!" so we didn't get to go outside. Even so, ds still did not go to sleep until 10pm last night... oh well.
post #24 of 59
I just re-read your post: maybe if you bring her into bed and "sleep" with her (you can sneak away later) she'll relax; I know you say your presence stimulates her, but if you are lying down and your eyes are closed, she might eventually get the idea that it is time to rest.

Also, her sleep needs/times may be shifting. She might be moving to one nap a day. I always let my ds nap when he needed to, and the nap schedule morphed every few months but managed to keep some sort of a pattern.

I don't think a one year old is capable of manipulating. To manipulate is a very complex and advanced skill, which I don't think toddlers are able to do. She definately has needs or wants that she is trying to express (I assume she is still preverbal?) and it is frustrating when she doesn't have the words.

Maybe she doesn't want to sleep alone in the crib? Maybe she does want your company? You could try bringing her into your bed for a few days and see what happens...
post #25 of 59
We have a problem with DS acting very playful, and happy when tired, kind of a second wind thing. It took us a long time to recognize it and figure out what to do. It is incredibly deceiving. He might be awake for 8-10 hours and he is still happily playing. If we continue to let him play though, he would become extremely over-exhausted and not able to fall asleep.
I don't have any suggestions, but just want to let you know that although DC might no tbe acting sleepy, you are right to think that maybe she is.
Good luck
post #26 of 59
I have not read the other posts, but we did something with my oldest dd that worked well. It's not CIO, it's a bit gentler, and it really does work! First we had our bed on the floor so no danger of her falling out. Secondly we childproofed our room totally and shut the door. Then we all went to sleep after the usual routine, and played dead. Meaning, dh and I pretended to be asleep. Dd was really mad, she pulled at my hair, beat dh's chest, pulled our clothes, wailed "wake up wake up" and just had a major tantrum. Just to reassure her that we were still alive I would mumble "go to sleep Abi, time to go to sleep" while keeping my eyes closed (well I peeked!). After awhile she crawled out of the bed and around the room but since it was dark and there was nothing to do she came back to bed, cried some more, and finally layed down and fell asleep. It took about 3-4 days of this I think, and after that she never fought bedtime again.

Sounds kinda cruel but we were so sleep deprived it was affecting our lives, dh's work, he even said he fell asleep at the wheel once and that was it. We decided something had to be done.

post #27 of 59
Thread Starter 
USAmma, of all the suggestions so far, with the personality of my child, yours would probably work the best... she seems to need a lot of space to play and explore before sleeping.

However we live in such a tiny apartment that it probably won't be practical, plus, my dh really hates sleeping on the floor and so do I (I always have a weird phobia that mice will crawl over me!)... plus there is just no way to totally childproof the room so that I could relax while she crawled around. If we had a bigger house (our apt is exactly 2 not-very-large rooms), we could designate one room as a totally child-safe zone. I would love that (actually I think it's very important for kids to have a place like that in their home).

mackinsiesmom... YES that is my problem... she associates my very presence with play, a lot of the time.

Yesterday I was SO TIRED. I had not slept more than 5 hrs/night for over a week, and I was just exhausted. She has been, I think, teething again (a molar ) and yesterday, could not manage (despite only getting 8 hrs of sleep the nite before) to take a nap until 3:30 pm!!! I was at the point where I was so fried and desperate for my own rest, that I was really concerned for my sanity. I rarely feel that off balanced as a parent, but the combination of fatigue and frustration was making me say and do things that are not really the way I would like to parent. She was so overtired that she was lying down on the kitchen rug and making grimacey faces to stay awake, but then she would see something interesting, start hooting and babbling wildly, and run to chase it... it was like this horrible manic depressive tired baby thing going on!

I even tried going into the living room and letting her just cry in the bedroom, which I don't like to do, but as long as I was in the room, she would not sleep. At least that way, I could collect my wits and not yell at a little baby. I usually am so patient with her and I usually really don't mind if she takes a long time to fall asleep... we just hang out and "talk", listen to music, nurse, read stories, and do all that stuff everyone is describing here. But sometimes I just reach a breaking point, and I need relief. I told dh to let me sleep in this AM so I could catch up on sleep, and he did (am I the only mom here who hasn't been able to sleep past 7 am for an entire year???), but I couldn't stay asleep... I kept hearing her getting into things, hearing paper crinkling or a suspicious silence (that usually means she's stuck some stray questionable object into her mouth!), wondering what she was doing, and also was conscious that dh had not changed her dipe yet as I always do FIRST THING before anything else when she wakes (after sitting in pee for 12 hrs wouldn't you want a change?!)... so I was sort of like, all right... go back to bed, dh... this isn't working out. I go into the room where she is supposed to be "taken care of" and he is too tired to even get up and play with her; he's sort of lying on the floor half asleep and not watching what she is doing or changing, bathing her, etc. I mean the house is childproofed, but... grrrr!!! : I get less sleep than he does, but I always wake up, no matter how tired I am, to take care of her at 6 or 7, when she gets up. I wouldn't mind if I was a SAHM... but I work outside FT, too!!


all right, now that I got that out of my system.

re: the bouncy suggestion. I have tried (and it sometimes works)... spinning her around and dancing before bedtime. Not right before, but like an hour or two before. I find that that is really a very key suggestion. She is a VERY energetic child and one of the things I don't want her to learn in life, is to repress and be ashamed of that. I am afraid that having her CIO or even reacting angrily to that energy when it becomes too much for me to handle, is going to have that effect. I want to find good outlets for her energy so she will learn naturally to get tired.

Part of the problem is that I work so *()#$)(#& hard all the time, with a ft job and taking care of my dh and her and almost all of the housework (dh helps, but I don't like the way he does it and end up just being critical... prefer doing it myself, esp as I am always super concerned about the cleanliness of things now that we have a baby) that I don't always have the strength to be "fun" on my days off with her. I want to take naps, catch up on the mountains of housework, etc. I do try to take her out every day, but I think she needs a LOT more than what I give her. When she is with her dad all day, she seems much more stimulated and ready to sleep at the end of the day... she goes around to visit his friends, strolls around in her stroller all over town, enjoys much rougher play and more relaxed rules about what she can touch and play with. With me, she gets more of other valuable things, but with dad she gets lots of stimulation and excitement in her day. Of course, that means I don't always come home to a spotlessly clean house ... but at least he enjoys and has fun with her. Mommy is kind of a POOP on her days off!

I have also thought about trying homeopathy. The other day when she fell asleep at 3:30 pm, it was actually after a dose of Camomilla complex. I am thinking of trying some coffea cruda on her... it's indicated when there is restless, manic wakefulness similar to what you get drinking coffee. That's her! Heck, I am ready to try homeopathy on myself... just now I am really starting to see how completely exhausted I am. I have been sort of on this Mommy Ascetic Trip for the past year... enjoying absolutely no personal comforts or days/nites off and just throwing everything I have into dd and dh and my work and my house and... phew. WHAT ABOUT ME??? I am ready to just do the Marge Simpson thing where she stopped her car in the middle of a bridge and wouldn't drive anymore until Homer told her she was appreciated!

Well, dh does tell me that quite often... ... but at this moment, words don't cut it... I want a few hours to spend alone, or with a friend... or even on a date with dh without the baby... I just want to replenish my juices a little bit. I feel like everything I have is just being sucked out of me (quite literally... !)

I'm not ready to stop pumping yet. I still think my dd is justified by all means at her age to a full supply of milk and I don't mind providing it for her, I just am getting to a point where I want a break. It is possible also that dd is feeling my energy and responding to it... when I am calm and less tired/frustrated she is absolutely the easiest child for me, because our temperaments are more equal.

post #28 of 59
I have to say, very frequently I consider dropping off the MDC boards altogether because I can't believe how many people do CIO or "modified" CIO or "not really" CIO. I just don't get it.

Anyway. . . it sounds to me like you are having relationship issues with your dd, if you don't mind my saying so. Some of the phrasing you use - saying things like that she's being manipulative, etc. are tipoffs to me. I am concerned that maybe you have gotten yourself into an adversarial relationship with her, and that your inability to relax about her development/needs could be exacerbating what might have just been a short phase. I wonder about this because of your saying she is trying to keep her eyes open with her fingers, among other reasons.

Most of the people on these boards seem to be vaguely aware of the damage that CIO does to relationships (how would your relationship with your dh progress if he left you sobbing yourself to sleep!?), but few people seem to know that CIO actually causes brain damage. I've got some links, if anyone is interested in the information (obviously it's not in the mainstream press!)

In any case, I hope I am not coming off as judgemental. I am a bit upset by this thread, though. I know you are trying really hard, but recently I have noticed that in everyone's attempts to be "supportive" on these boards, people wind up saying CIO is okay as long as you feel guilty about it, or something. I think we all get too busy to center ourselves and think about our relationships with our children. It really is a spiritual experience to be connected with your child. I think that in moments of desperation, we endanger the relationship, but if we can just pull ourselves together (often by getting help from family members, or by reading supportive books), we can re-connect. If we don't, it's a slippery slope.

My point is that your baby's brain does not understand whether or not you've "tried everything." To all of us, CIO might not be "that big a deal, given your situation," but your baby's brain can't understand that, neurologically. Of course, in our society, not everyone can be Supermom, but we can at least be honest with ourselves!

So, what would I do if I were you? I'd try really hard to relax. I'd get some phone counseling from someone like Jan Hunt from the Natural Child Project website, or from Scott Noelle at ScottNoelle.com. I'd work really hard at spiritually reconnecting to my child. I'd dance her to sleep, or go for long, rhythmic walks to get her to sleep at night. (I can say this because I have done this a million times myself! )

Just my 2 cents! I hope you're not offended. I *do* tend to try to get to the root of things. Instead of being like most of the PPs who say, "You're doing a great job, Mama!" - I'd prefer to encourage you by saying, "You're doing a great job - and I know you can do even better, Mama!"

post #29 of 59
You mention that you are very busy and don't spend a lot of time with dd. And that she just wants to play with you when you try to get her to sleep. Maybe she just wants and needs more time with you. Is there anything that you can compromise to give yourself more daily one-on-one quality time with her? If dd is happier and more fulfilled then you could become happier and less stressed.
post #30 of 59
ITA mother_sunshine

It is so important to let the unimportant things go and focus on what is important. Let the housework go!! Your dd is more important than a clean carpet The laundry will wait and the clutter certainly isn't going anywhere. I went through 3 years of severe sleep deprivation, my ds1 only slept 5 hours a night and didn't nap (turned out to be a food allergy). Once I let go of EVERYTHING but him it became so much easier to cope. What got done got done, what didn't didn't. My dh just told me today that he is so much happier to come home to a messy house and happy children than the opposite and he is right. Mama, you can't do everything. You are burning yourself out with unrealistically high expectations of yourself. Take care of yourself and your dd FIRST. I hope things get easier for you soon
post #31 of 59
In any case, I hope I am not coming off as judgemental. I am a bit upset by this thread, though. I know you are trying really hard, but recently I have noticed that in everyone's attempts to be "supportive" on these boards, people wind up saying CIO is okay as long as you feel guilty about it, or something. I think we all get too busy to center ourselves and think about our relationships with our children. It really is a spiritual experience to be connected with your child.

I totally agree with your post in theory. However when you get so incredibly sleep deprived, it wears on you, it impacts your ability to think clearly, to function, to be any kind of parent at all. AP is not always about putting the needs of your child above your own needs, esp. when it comes to sleeping and eating and things like that. You have to at least be a functional person with your needs filled so that you can be a good parent. Lack of sleep leads to hormonal imbalances, drop in milk supply for some, depression, etc.

It's very easy for one parent to tell another parent what works or what to do or not to do. Before I had my dd I had all kinds of lofty ideals that unfortunately have fallen to the wayside. Because nothing prepared me to have a child who is a poor sleeper. She is actually going to be going to a sleep clinic for an eval later this year because I still find her at 3 AM reading by her nightlight or playing. We've tried herbs, routines, music, you name it. Still takes her 2+ hours to fall asleep sometimes, and she wakes up at least 3-4 times at night, and I've seen her at 4 AM sitting next to our bed waiting for the sun to come up so she can wake me up (family rule: mom doesn't wake up before the sun).

Even with the method described above, used when she was a baby, she didn't learn to sleep through the night, she just learned to lie quietly in bed until she fell asleep finally, sometimes hours later.

post #32 of 59
Thread Starter 

please read the whole thing before judging.

I have to say, very frequently I consider dropping off the MDC boards altogether because I can't believe how many people do CIO or "modified" CIO or "not really" CIO. I just don't get it.
Oh, I hope everyone realizes...

that I can be a bit of a drama queen when it comes to expressing myself... and I do NOT strive to be PC and to not offend. I say things very straight. If I haven't come to a point of realization, you are not going to see me pretending to, and rather than feel like I am encountering subtle forms of censorship and pressures to conform to a set of rules, that there is an understanding that different ways of parenting can work with different parent/child relationships, cultural backgrounds, etc.

Should I back out of my enrollment in these discussions because I am evolving? Or should you (because you're offended by some stages of my or other parents' evolution)?

Misfit, I do understand what you are saying, and I think you finish on a positive tone. But some things that you casually interject, sound a little censoring and intolerant in this regard. And yes... USAmma, it's true... sometimes in desperate situations, you have to make the choice between your own needs and your childs'. It's not "adverserial", it's just that way with you and everyone in the world, and it's about preserving your sanity as well as, generally, looking at the lesser of 2 evils. Haven't you ever gone to pee while your newborn was crying or in the middle of a 2 hour nursing marathon (and yes, if you are slinging mama, maybe you just haven't figured out the walking/nursing thing yet at that point!)? Haven't you ever run to snarf down a bagel or drink some water in peace after not eating or drinking all day (while bf!) because you're so busy with your baby, and left them crying for a minute because you are SO DARN HUNGRY and if you were carrying them, you wouldn't have a hand free, or if they are older, they'd be grabbing your food and glass?? Haven't you ever heard your baby crying in their carseat when you can't stop, on the freeway? Well then, welcome to the club... you've experienced the unmet needs of your baby, and you've had to delay them in order to perform the, at that particular moment, higher task of taking care of your basic physical needs. I think sometimes people forget how all-consuming a baby is, and how at times there really is not enough support in our culture, to have enough energy to do everything. It's not a question of ignoring your child's needs, it's just a question of taking care of yourself and the basic things that need doing.

I don't think that in general, once a child is no longer a tiny baby, it's a good idea, either, to bring them up with the idea that the world totally revolves around their every whim. Needs, yes. And no, I don't think they should be brought up in some kind of ascetic law and order kind of way... but they definitely need to understand the difference between whims and needs, AFTER a certain age.

The problem really is that sometimes I don't always read her right at first, I think. Sometimes she really genuinely needs me and wants me to be near her, and is sad I am leaving the room. Other times, I think she is more just mad at everything. She is not a "sobbing baby". She just kind of whines and is mad and tired-sounding, or lets out a few cranky yells, and then falls asleep. It's not a dragged-on thing. Also, soemtimes she just babbles by herself peacefully and doesn't cry, before sleeping, which also is why I started doing this (leaving her by herself sometimes to nap if she is not sleeping with me there). I think she is sometimes just blowing off steam, and this is why I think you can't call every single case of a baby making unhappy sounds outside of the sanctuary of your arms, "CIO", although I used that term because the distinction is so fine. At age one, they are developing their own personality to some extent, and sometimes that involves just needing some space to vent and talk to themselves, I think... but it's up to the sensitive parent to hear when it's not venting, and more needing you. I am willing to hear any arguments to the contrary, however. If I hear any sadness, loneliness, urgency etc in her voice I always go right back in and hold her, nurse her etc. If she really can't sleep, I don't usually press the point unless it's for my own ulterior motive (to get a nap myself).

I totally hear what you are saying, Misfit, about the spiritual connex between parent and child, and I've read many books also about how to connect your energy to your childs'. I practiced baby massage on her until she got to not like it any more, every single day, no matter how many hrs I worked. Now I do whatever she lets me do, but she gets restless. I do some baby yoga too on her, I really focus on her energy while I am nursing, and also, when I have to send her off to daycare or pump milk, I imagine all my love and energy going into the food I prepare for her lunch and the milk I am expressing, so that she will feel it in my absence. I really do try to focus on what she's going through, which is why sometimes when she makes a transition from one stage to another, I am slow to respond and adjust, but it doesn't mean I don't care or am not trying.

Like for example, why don't I just get to bed earlier, myself? I have issues myself falling asleep! So why is it so surprising she is connected to that part of my energy and emulating it? I am a notorious insomniac/night person, and I always HATED naps. Maybe I need to work on my own self-discipline to try to sleep earlier... although I work evenings, so it is tough to wind down. If I were more of a morning person and more rested, I'd appreciate her vitality more in the AM's.

I think the whole issue of CIO is a label, and yes, I put it on my thread to get attention and because I am not thrilled about this un-ideal solution, but it's not always a clearcut issue with an older baby like some are suggesting.

Regarding spending time with dd. The reason I work is because I HAVE TO. I got pregnant 1 month after my wedding to a non-US citizen, he did not even have his green card or working papers yet, and due to GWB's wonderful homeland security shutdowns of INS offices nationwide and delaying immigrations, I ended up working like a dog, on my feet, through most of my pregnancy. I would love nothing more than to be a SAHM and believe me... I tried everything to make it work. But my dh didn't want me to do that, since it would involve going on welfare, something neither of us could agree to. I tried even doing consulting work at home but that did not work out, and I was even less able to focus on my dd because of the stress of earning enough $ for the rent each month, dealing with annoying clients, etc. So my compromise, was working in a very AP-friendly store 4 days a wk (evening shifts), 2 on wkends, so at the very least, she'd spend only 2 short days in daycare and the rest with her dad... and when the boss isn't in, dh sometimes brings her in the eves to be slung on the job for a few hrs! Of course, my relationship with my dh is severely sacrificed, and we never really had much time to enjoy each other at all... but we both are happy to put her needs first at this crucial time.

The reasons I keep the house clean are, a... we live in a very tiny urban apartment that gets messy immediately, and she is of the age where the house needs to be totally clean and childproofed, as well as vermin free... and our neighborhood has a mouse problem that affected us a lot. I really hate dirt and am very squeamish about mice, esp with a baby. So at the very least, I have to make sure the house is basically presentable. Also, I just think it is better for children to grow up in a reasonably clean and neat home. My house was a pigsty for the first 6 wks postpartum. I totally let it go and focused on dd. However, she had an AWFUL sleep problem. It didn't get better until we stayed at a hotel one night during my sister's wedding at dd's 5th wk. She slept SO WELL... and so did we, in that nice clean room. After that I just went crazy cleaning the house (and yes, dd did cry during some of that time) but in the long haul, as soon as the house was clean, she seemed much happier and slept much better.

I really think that cleanliness isn't just peripheral, some kind of "martha stewart" thing only the so-called "perfect wives/moms" should do. I think that children should not grow up in a mess, myself. I don't think it's healthy, energetically, or physically (messes cause lost items, attract negative and stagnant energy, clutter the mind, and create frustration). However, I agree that it shouldn't be mutually exclusive to caring for your child.. you should find ways to involve them in it, so they will learn to take pride in their surroundings and to also see your work as important, not learn that their entertainment and sensory gratification is the center of the universe. Work can be entertaining and playful, too. I often involve dd when I clean, by giving her pots and pans to bang, or a laundry basket full of odd items to dump out, some tubes and things to dump in the tub while I am cleaning the bathroom, etc. Or I sling her and explain what we're doing. I'd love to get a back carrier so when she wants to be carried, I can get more done and have her close to me.

Also, I am not just a mom, I am a wife, and I take pride and pleasure in caring for my dh, whether or not I am working outside. I would rather he gets used to a good example of what he would get even more of if I didn't work, rather than just be frustrated along with me at the mess and nothing to eat, etc. I am nourished by his energy if he is satisfied and happy at home. Even if I am not able to live my ideal life of being a SAHM/SAHW, I would like my dd to see, in the time I have to show her, how to do it, to set a good example for her of how women can make the world a nice and livable place. And I don't want to make the mistake many women make of putting their husbands last. If he's happy, I am too, I am rewarded, and so is our baby in my renewed strength. If he is neglected, we all suffer, and he is less likely to nurture me. It's sort of a paradox I've learned along the way... that rather than argue with dh about the housework, it's much easier to just take that responsibility myself, let him do a few "guy" things himself regularly as his jobs, and when I need more help, just ask... I always get it. I also don't mind the compliments, it's the thanks and appreciation that matters the most to me. And there is no expectations for me, either, which is important! I need to feel like I'm doing this myself.

BTW, misfit... yes, sometimes with dh, I do the equivalent of CIO when he gets cranky!! He does not express himself by crying because he has other more sophisticated means of expressing himself, but I don't always respond to every single one of his whims if he is just being fussy and unpleasable. If he truly needs something - food, love, some coffee, a hug, my company, he's got it. But don't we ALL have times - young and old - when we really, genuinely, don't know what is best for us and are just bossing our loved ones around? I guess that's what I mean by "manipulative"... I realize that's a hot button word on this forum, probably. Of course, of course... I know babies aren't manipulative in the sense that adults are... they have needs they are expressing, etc etc. But there are times my baby, me, and just about everyone I know as well, is just fussing because they are so offbalance in some way (mad, tired, hormonal, low blood sugar, etc) that they would be more benefitted, rather than engaging in a demanding energetic/emotional exchange or using your energy to further exacerbate this imbalance, by just spending some time alone.

What I really worry about is how she is forced to CIO when I leave her at daycare. There is just no way under the sun to make that a totally painless transition for a baby, and there is no way to stop those tears until I am out of sight. Then she usually has fun... but still, her crying is with me all day, no matter how resilient she is. Also, there is no way for me to control how her crying is handled when I am not there. That bothers me. Even dh does let her CIO sometimes, and he is not as subtle in his perceptions as I am. Sometimes he insists she is just "being cranky" and then I realize that actually she is hungry, tired, etc. He, like many men, think too logically about things... she took 2 naps today, how can she possibly be tired? Well, don't you ever have days you are just pooped for no reason??

I used to say that over my dead body, would I ever put any child of mine in daycare. So please, do not attack me for doing what I have to do to support my family right now. As it is, we are barely surviving, although I hope that with our next child, things will be different (they get better a little each month as my dh gains new skills and work opp's) and I can stay home with them. Fortunately my 1st child is someone with a very strong and sunny personality, and seems to be growing into the type of child who knows exactly what she wants and isn't easily deterred by negativity... even my own. I had a really stressful pregnancy, always worried about money, working day and night, worried about dh's immigration status, and having a hard time adjusting just to married life at first (didn't have much time to!). But she is just like a ray of sun... totally unbothered by my ups and downs.

I think that actually may be an important point, though, the issue of her seeing not enough of me. I know it is true, and I think sometimes she tries to force herself to not take naps, so she can maximize my presence. Or maybe she is even afraid that if she takes a nap, I'll be gone (not that I ever leave her without saying goodbye!). That is all possible. What can I do about it? She isn't old enough to understand the concepts of time and goings/comings yet.

I guess I am going to have to think about this all more, and try to intuit what would help more and support what her needs are. Maybe just letting her decide when she wants to nap, more or less? Even if she is exhausted, if she is still playing, let her "play it out" rather than CIO?? or maybe doing something really stimulating as some suggest, like splashing in a tub or going out on a swingset, etc.

post #33 of 59
I really needed to find this thread tonight!! Its so nice to know I'm not the only one. Ds fights sleep so much, that he will even hit himself to keep himself awake. I've tried putting him to sleep earlier - takes even longer, putting him to sleep later - wakes up at the same time the next morning and is a total grump. Right now it is taking me about 1.5 - 2 hrs a night to get him to sleep and I am at my wits end! We both end up mad, and its not fun for anyone. He sleeps on a little bed next to mine, and lately after trying the nice, calming bedtime stuff (to no avail) I've been telling him I will leave the room if he doesn't lay down on his bed. Which I then do, briefly. I'm really starting to freak out about the whole bedtime thing, because I am due in Sept and don't have a clue how I will manage this with two. Dh works nights, so it will just be me. While I'm on maternity leave, I can just fall asleep with both of them in bed with me, but once I go back to work, I really have to have a litte time at least after my toddler goes to sleep.
post #34 of 59
Thread Starter 
Hi Sistermama...

any reason why you are averse to the idea of cosleeping? It may be worth an investment in a larger bed so all of you can fit. I'm not one of these people who thinks every single person in the universe can do it (I really don't like sharing my bed except BEFORE bedtime, and it disturbs my sleep as I'm an extremely light sleeper... btw, that includes my dh too!!! I would totally have my own bed if I could!

It seems like your ds wants to sleep in the bed with you and is fighting going to his own bed. Maybe if you concede on this point, even just for awhile (and especially after the baby when he is likely to be jealous and need the extra sense that you care, closeness etc) you might all be happier. It doesn't mean you even have to do it forever if that's not what you or your dh want.

post #35 of 59
Sorry, I should have added that ds BEGGED for his "own" bed a couple of months ago. We do our whole bedtime routine up on our bed (not real up since it is on the floor) and he asks to go onto his bed. He usually crawls up sometime during the night.
post #36 of 59
Originally Posted by MisfitMama
...I can't believe how many people do CIO or "modified" CIO or "not really" CIO.
ok... forgive me for this OT intrusion of this thread... but can you help a mama out? i don't have a clue what "CIO" means... ?? I'm sorry... like I said in one of my others posts... I'm really bad with the acronyms.... I'm only 28 years young and already I feel so tragically un-hip.

post #37 of 59
CIO=Cry It Out

Don't worry, you're not alone, it took me 5 years to figure out "nak" (nursing at keyboard). :LOL
post #38 of 59
Thread Starter 

I just have to be more of a party girl...

Hi everyone...

well, I think I found some solutions to my problem! So I figured I'd post them in case it helps anyone else with theirs.

I think that really the problem is mine. I am the one being a poop... even if I am exhausted, there is nothing wrong with just delaying my fatigue to take a nap later in the day. I think our rhythms were just "off" because I hadn't gotten hip to my dd's gradually changing naptime pattern. She gets tired at the same time (about 1 1/2 hrs after waking, or earlier even) but isn't quite ready to fall asleep yet at that point on most days now, like she was as a younger baby. She really seems to need stimulation in the morning, and I'm not giving it to her... rather than wait until 1 or 2 until she's "had her nap" to go out and play/do errands, I would be better of just chugging down some mate, propping up my eyelids during the morning hours, and taking her out for some fun so she can wear herself out. It seems like the time she ACTUALLY is able to fall asleep now, as opposed to GETS TIRED, is more like between 12 and 1, and actually, that's a really nice time for a nap for me, too! It's sort of like the "lunchtime siesta" break, and esp in this hot weather, it's good (this is what we did today). And that way also I don't feel like so lazy and stagnant... I've been out, done something, accomplished something etc and feel better about myself, am more able to relax about my expectations of dd's napping, and have revved my engine into gear a bit.

Also, I'm making a conscious effort to go to bed earlier. Housework is fine, but sadly, playing on the computer, unless I have a pressing issue, is not.

I'm realizing that if she really, really fights me on some issue and it becomes a battle of wills, it probably is best to just go with the flow and realize that her needs may be changing, and try to stay in tune with that. It's hard though because they evolve so fast sometimes. If it's an issue that for some reason I really can't concede on or work around, I will have to confront that issue then. I'm even trying to make her learn the value of bedtime and naps herself, by letting her get tired enough on her own that she falls asleep in the car or is clinging to me and fussing to go into the bed. Sometimes this means she gets overtired and is harder to put to sleep, but I think that the tradeoff is that she might start to become more enthusiastic about nap time (since I'm not shoving it down her throat).

It's sometimes a tough line between setting boundaries, and just plain "punishment", which I really don't think does anything useful. I ran into an AP mom friend today who was totally, religiously AP in everything she did... ds still nurses at 3 1/2, he was slung all the time, cosleeps, she hand-feeds him on her lap (something I don't know if other AP moms do, but Indian moms do it, and I do too, it's so nice... we never use a high chair!), unvaxed, etc. However her son is so mean to her, and really spoiled... he is a nice and very smart kid, but his particular personality is very strong willed, and she is very soft and yielding, so they got into some problems. Perhaps a more introverted (like her) kid would be fine with her very "yin", soft approach... but he is just going wild, even insults her and hits her sometimes. Her doctor (very AP friendly) was telling her that setting firm boundaries and rules for her ds and enforcing them in a conscientious and loving way, does not mean she's a bad or unloving mom. This particular child needs strong limits and boundaries, or he will grow up to be a terror.

Well, although this is veering OT, my point is just that every child is different, and has to be approached differently in parenting methods. Rather than adopt a set of rules or have a knee jerk reaction to any particular parenting term or technique, it's best to look at the individual situation and how people are handling it. For example, CIO is a loaded term, and I think a lot of what people call "CIO" is NOT CIO. Crying in your arms is NOT CIO. Babbling or even whining petulantly by themself, I don't think is CIO unless they are a tiny baby or their needs are being denied. I don't think EVERY TIME an older baby or toddler cries, it has a need that you have to meet. You are getting to the point in your relationship with them, that they really do, sometimes, need and benefit from learning to meet their own needs or just can't always be satisfied by what you can do for them. You can hold them and be there for and with them until the cows come home soemtimes, but it may not help them sleep or even calm down. I know kids that turned into total tyrant kids and later on, rebels... (I myself was a perfect example ) because their mom (or parents) were so running to meet every need of theirs, and so afraid to let them cry, explore, and experience THEMSELVES ever, that they just got cranky within the constraints of this dynamic and started to become mean to their parents, and not respect them. I can't say what age that begins, but for my dd, it was probably about 6 or 7 months, bit by bit, once she could sit well and got interested in the crawling idea. I just felt our dynamic change. And therein, I think, lies the distinction. I don't like blanket terms in general because it inhibits people's individuality.

Don't forget also that in those "primitive cultures" AP loves to emulate, children really are allowed a tremendous amount of benign neglect, and yes, they are sometimes put down alone. Even when I was in Africa I saw people actually leave babies on the ground and go to get a bus ticket, or get something on the fire, etc. And while the babies experience a lot of holding and carrying, they also are treated as much more independent, I think, beings than kids here are. They are allowed to cry sometimes when mom has another pressing need to attend to (like cooking dinner for her husband, which believe me, MUST be done when he comes home), and are allowed to roam about free when they come of walking/crawling age. Interestingly I even saw 3 year old kids there climbing coconut palms to get fruit, and hacking apart sugarcane with small kid-sized machete type knives! (very sharp!). And the moms have tremendous social support... sometimes they leave their kid with another mom while they go visit a friend or go work at the market, fields, etc. Or they carry them, either way. The kids there have a maturity and deep respect for their elders that kids here don't generally share. But in our typically western way, we take a few things out of context and blow them out of proportion into a "lifestyle"... without considering the whole cultural picture.

post #39 of 59
Originally Posted by bobo dioulasso
Hi everyone...

in our typically western way, we take a few things out of context and blow them out of proportion into a "lifestyle"... without considering the whole cultural picture.


I am so glad that you found a solution! I have found that very thing to be oh so true! And it gets easier to do things that are fun and tiring as they get older.

What i just quoted i see CONSTANTLY here and it drives me batty . It is so inappropriate to build a whole 'philosophy' of parenting upon a small part of what one culture in another country does with their children. Just strikes me as false and inauthentic, and most of the time plain unfeasible. We just have a different set-up of family and social structure here that makes it impossible and in my mind not particularly desirable to try to emulate what another culture does. Same goes for people that drone on and on about how Amazon tribe women nurse their children til they are six or what have you, then demand that American women do teh same. But that's a topic for another thread . Thank you for sharing your very interesting and valuable insights!
post #40 of 59
Originally Posted by chemigogo
But that's a topic for another thread
But it would be an interesting one, Lydia!

BD, glad you finally hit on something that works for you! I also loved reading your thoughts on cultural differences in childrearing. I'm currently living in China, and it's amazing to be exposed to some of the different perspectives here.
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