Originally Posted by Nora'sMama
I swear I'm going crazy from the lack of sleep.
I won't go into details but my god I am going nucking futs.
Physically I am a mess, too.
I feel like I have gone wrong somewhere, but where?
I don't know what to do.
She doesn't want to sleep.
Now (for the past 2 nights) she has not gone to sleep for the first time until 10 or later. And then wakes up immediately. And again. And again. No matter what we do or don't do or where she sleeps. I'm so angry (at the situation - not at her of course) that I feel enraged in addition to all the other sucky physical and emotional feelings.
F*cking hate this.
I know this is just the emotion of the situation talking but it makes me want to turn back time and teach her to sleep in a crib from day 1. My mother did this with me and supposedly never had to CIO. I remember thinking that my mom missed out on co-sleeping but she also missed out on
RUINING HER HEALTH.
and all the other fun stuff I have experienced.
I feel like I can't share this (too much) w/ family b/c although they won't say "I told you so" they will be thinking it.
So on top of everything I am alienated somewhat from my family.
Truly, can it get any worse? Had a massive fight w/ DH just now and I really think I have gone crazy. It was totally my fault. I can't write how I acted b/c it was both childish and...scary.
I'm so sorry you are so tired and you are right, it's not healthy for you nor your DC. However tired you are, so is she.
I have read just about every sleep book ever written. Seriously, I could barely carry them to the car from the library. I was determined to find out what they all have in common. I've also spent a great deal of time reading sleep studies for children and adults. Here are the things I learned and that helped me get a good night's sleep.
All the books had these two things in common, regardless of their mode of "sleep training".
1. Set bedtimes, naptimes and wake times.
2. Bedtime routine
When a child or person becomes so sleep-deprived they actually are unable to go to sleep. This is why a child fights sleep. A well-rested child will lay down and go to sleep without all the drama. The more sleep-deprived a child is, the harder it is for them to fall asleep. This is why it is imperative to have a consistent routine in order to establish a healthy sleep pattern. The consistency you put in, is the consistency you will get back from your child. Even adult insomniacs are told to go to bed and wake up at the same times.
So the important thing to establishing a routine is to decide what times work best for your family and then you must stick to it. A 17 month old should be sleeping 14-15 hours per day of which they should be getting 11-12 hours per night with about 2-3 hours a day in naps. You should have 12 hours that are "day" and 12 hours that are "night". So if you decide that 7pm is bedtime, then wake time would be 7am. Start your bedtime routine a half an hour to one hour before the goal of sleeping. Whatever you decide will be included in your bedtime routine, you must follow in order, so that your child will know that when this routine starts it is time to go to sleep.
If you keep changing the rules and try one thing and then another and then another and then finally take her and put in the car, then the only thing she is learning is that the rules keep changing.
The other interesting thing I learned, is that some children have a hard time transitioning from deep sleep to active (REM) sleep. Have you ever noticed that she will wake up at about the 40 minute mark? Most children transition from deep to active sleep in 40 minute increments. A lot of times a child will suck in order to move from one form of sleep to another. This is the reason they want to nurse and why some nurse so often at night, and why some children that co-sleep are up so much more than others. If you are right there, and they need that sucking to continue to the next level of sleep, well then you are RIGHT THERE. This may be why some parents and children sleep better apart.
So I would say the things you could start implementing right away would be to work on getting her on a good, solid routine, so that she isn't so sleep-deprived. This may mean a very early bedtime. I have one friend who's child sleeps best if he's in bed by 6pm. He's always woken up at 6am and this is when he needs to go to bed to get 12 hours. Don't be afraid to try a different approach. There is no one way for parenting. Every child is different.
I will say these things worked for my family. We were all sleep deprived and now we're not. It all seemed so contrived and somewhat rigid to me, but it worked. It wasn't easy in the beginning, but now we have a bedtime routine that the whole family enjoys. I no longer dread bedtime. I start each night at 7pm with baths, followed by brushing teeth, followed by reading books, followed by lights out at 8pm. I wish I would have done this when my older children were younger.
Finally, I just want to say that parenting is a journey. We are all on it and it is a learning experience. But you deserve to be happy and well-rested and so does your child. I would love to hear what Dr. Sears has to say, and sure hope you update us.