Surviving sleep deprivation with #2 or more. Experienced mamas, please share your tips! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 10-26-2011, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been thinking about how incredibly sleep deprived I was with DS really for well over a year.  DH and I rotated shifts at night and I tried to nap when he napped but still probably only slept 4-5 hours/night for a loooong time.  Now, DH travels 50% of the time and DS does not nap and only sleeps around 8-9 hours at night.  I'm starting to panic!

 

So experienced mamas, please share your tips for surviving sleep deprivation with a newborn and other little ones in the house!  Is it harder because you have two or more, or easier because you know more and worry less? 

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#2 of 9 Old 10-26-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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How old is your DS? Would he be able to have quiet time in his room each afternoon while you catch a cat nap? I don't remember exactly how it worked out with DS & DD, but it did... I had an easier time with 2 than with 1. There's less of a risk of the second baby getting night & day confused when there's a toddler around! You'll probably be able to get a bit more out of that 8 or 9 hours that DS sleeps than you think.


~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#3 of 9 Old 10-26-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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Depending on his age and how much you want to work on it, maybe he will decide to nap again. Or maybe you will have to decide to "make" him nap again.... My almost 4 year old can go either way. If she naps, she is up late, but much more well behaved and easy to have around until 9 or 10 pm. I will be up with the baby anyway, so I will probably still enforce the naps for her for a while... unless DH wants her down at 8 with the other 3 kiddos, but then baby will still be up, so we'll see about that.

 

Like I said, depending on his age, I might try something like this:

 

7am all wake up, unless baby wants to go back to sleep after final nursing.

Breakfast, outside play, games, puzzles, playdoh, etc. keep him VERY busy so he tires out. 

Lunch right before nap. Maybe even buy him a new thing for his room, like a nightlight, new toy to sleep with, etc. Set the stage so he knows you mean business and that he needs to stay put in his bed, on the floor, where ever he sleeps. My 4 year old DD stays on the living room floor and naps while I eat in kitchen, sit on couch with laptop, etc. I have the other three kiddos in other rooms at this time. The 2 year old naps in my room and the 6 and 8 year olds play quietly in their room. I would get him down by 1 at the latest. Even if he tosses and turns for a while, he will probably settle down by 1:30, sleep until 3 or 3:30, then you just do a repeat of the morning and get him back down to bed at 9 or so....

 

Just my 2 cents, although I am DREADING being sleep deprived. I just weaned 2 year old DS 2 months ago and have been sleeping about 8 hours each night with 2 pee breaks in there and I have been loving that. Almost time to kiss that goodbye! But I do fully intend on having quiet time and hopefully SLEEPING time for myself every afternoon from about 1:30-3. Unless baby is up. The 2 year old and 4 year old will need to obey and stay in their spots and rest! ;)

 

HTH! And you will be fine! You'll figure it out. 

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#4 of 9 Old 10-30-2011, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mamas.  It seems daunting!  DS does nothing like quiet time in his room but I'm not opposed to sticking him in front of the TV.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?  Unfortunately, he's pretty "spirited" and "curious" and there is no way I could nap without something wild happening.  Also no way he is going to nap.  He quit naps at 2 and probably could have/should have quit them earlier.  Time to break out No Cry Sleep Solution and start praying for a baby who sleeps like 20 hours a day ;). 

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#5 of 9 Old 11-02-2011, 02:30 PM
 
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So how old is your son?

 

When I got to two kiddos, I had 2yo and baby.  So we all laid down together in my bed.  If the toddler was too squirmy, I would form a blockade with the pillows and inform him that he had to stay on his side if he was not going to lay still.   He wasn't the best napper but it didn't take long before he understood the rules and it went relatively well.  I didn't have the awesome naps I did with one baby but what can you do??!

 

When I got to 3, the baby the youngest toddler - 2 and me were in the bed and 4 yo was in the toddler bed in the same room.  My 2yo was a super napper and baby nursed down easily.  I told my oldest that he did not have to sleep.  He just had to lay there and be quiet.  It didn't happen the first time, but again, he got the routine.  I realized very soon that he really didn't need a nap anymore and felt bad.  After 45 minutes, I would lift my head to see all my sleeping angels and Simeon would be laying very still and very quiet and very awake on his bed.  So the new rule became..... you don't have to sleep but be quiet and still and if you are still awake after 30-45 minutes, we will get up.  So most days I got a power nap, the 2 youngest got their naps and my oldest and I got some time together.  Reading, playing, snuggling.

 

For baby # 4 we got a swing.  We never owned one previously.

 

Good luck!  You will find something that works for your family!


Baker's Wife and Catholic Unschooling Mama to Simeon (12), James (9), Amos (7) and Annie (4) and Jonah (2)
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#6 of 9 Old 11-03-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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Hopefully I won't get kicked off MDC for this, but we let DD cry.  She was up until 11 or 12 every night.  I am a WAHM and start in the evening.  There was never a time-- ever-- that I was kid-free.  DH was stressed because he'd work all day, and then have DD at night while I worked, and I was stressed knowing she was up . . .if I ever had a break from work, there she was.  She was not fussy at all, but she was there.  I dreaded every night knowing that it would only lead to the next day of the same . . .day in, day out.  Sometimes she'd be up watching TV, which is also no good night after night.

 

One night, I'd had enough.  I put her in her crib, and I let her cry.  She cried for 45 minutes.  Same thing the next night.  (She was about 22 months at this point.)  Next night, 5 minutes.  Now, she ASKS TO GO TO SLEEP.  She cuddles with her doll, gets her little bed ready, and goes to sleep peacefully.  I can't believe the youngest 3 are in bed by 9!  She used to sleep through the night (going to bed late) and now she does not, but she just wakes up calmly and gets in bed with us.  That isn't until about 12 or 1, so there is a little bit of time for me to work and have maybe 30 minutes of a break.

 

The thing about AP is that it's within the context of a bigger culture-- a culture where you have extended family to help, and a different rhythm of the day (compared to my family).  Even nursing . . .you don't nurse your own kid all the time .  .you would have aunts and other family members to help (of course, you'd have to nurse other kids, too).  You wouldn't be alone all day.  You wouldn't be parenting in isolation.  So, if you are like me and have zero family help, no babysitter, a husband who works long, late hours (and not the $ to show for it!), plus having my own job, something has to give.  It was going to be my sanity, so this was a much better choice.  We now have peace-- ALL of us. 

 

I am not suggesting you let him cry, but I do think you should open your mind to new possibilities that you would not have considered.

 

A happy mom is a better mom.  Not saying you are unhappy-- I was, though.


 2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11 wave.gif

 

 

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#7 of 9 Old 11-03-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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Miz~ I may get the boot with you, but I believe there's a BIG difference between letting a newborn cry, and letting a nearly 2 year old cry. If she were flipping out about not being allowed to have cookies for supper it would be acceptable to let her cry, knowing you're nearby. Why is bedtime any different? With DS, it got to the point where it felt like a power struggle... he knew he had to stay in his room, and he knew I'd come running if he pitched a fit, so I'd end up spending 2 hours in & out of his room. He was about 2 when I drew the line & let him have his tantrum, crawl back into bed & go to sleep. Bedtime rapidly became not only more pleasant for me, but also for him.


~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#8 of 9 Old 11-03-2011, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not super opposed to tears over sleeping with a 3.5 year old but DS wouldn't sleep any longer if he did cry... I just happen to have a kid who has never ever needed sleep just like DH and his family. 8-9 hours is his max and he's perfectly happy and functions great on that little sleep.  I'm the one it is a problem for because I seriously need 8-9 hours myself.  And he's way too spirited to be trusted to behave when I am sleeping which is why I'm worried about fitting my sleep into his 8-9 hour span since I'm guessing baby will be up half that time.  I was thinking No Cry Sleep for baby, not DS because I am really thinking I am going to need baby to sleep like solid that whole time DS is sleeping.  In my dreams.... ;)  I guess maybe I will totally 3.5 year old proof a room and lock us in it and try to nap when I really need to while he's playing. 

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#9 of 9 Old 11-03-2011, 08:25 PM
 
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I hear you.  Most of mine really did not need sleep . .all but #4 gave up naps easily by the age of 2.  It is very tough.  I have gotten by for years with 6 hours of sleep or less, but "getting by" is the key word here.  It's not good.  Even now that my toddler sleeps so well, I don't get to take advantage of it because of work.  I am being strict with myself for at least a year and seriously cutting back on it.

 

No sleep is no good.  Your plan sounds like it will work.  And if TV helps, go for it!

 

You never know what this baby will be like.  Hope this one is a great sleeper!

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Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

I'm not super opposed to tears over sleeping with a 3.5 year old but DS wouldn't sleep any longer if he did cry... I just happen to have a kid who has never ever needed sleep just like DH and his family. 8-9 hours is his max and he's perfectly happy and functions great on that little sleep.  I'm the one it is a problem for because I seriously need 8-9 hours myself.  And he's way too spirited to be trusted to behave when I am sleeping which is why I'm worried about fitting my sleep into his 8-9 hour span since I'm guessing baby will be up half that time.  I was thinking No Cry Sleep for baby, not DS because I am really thinking I am going to need baby to sleep like solid that whole time DS is sleeping.  In my dreams.... ;)  I guess maybe I will totally 3.5 year old proof a room and lock us in it and try to nap when I really need to while he's playing. 



 


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