Please Help! Our Sleep Schedule is suffering! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-25-2013, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello dear sweet Mamas,

It may not be necessary to say this, but please don't judge me on what I'm about to share with asking for your help.  I'm not at liberty to go into details, but the sleep schedule of my husband, our toddler, and me is not healthy and we're worried about the near future and we desperately want to change it.  I don't know if there is a standard schedule most new parents follow for bedtime, but I've heard and read online that most young children go to sleep before 9pm.  I remember when I was a child and I would go to sleep before 10pm, of course depending on how I felt, what my now deceased Mother was going thru, outside noises, etc.  Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, including abusive obnoxious sub-culture noise mongers, my husband and I were forced into an unhealthy sleep schedule and were often kept up late at night or we'd go to sleep at 11pm and our sleep would be rudely disrupted and interrupted so we've suffered a great deal of sleep deprivation.  


Now, we're near parents of a now 17 month old adorable wonderful little boy and he's having sleep difficulties too.  His teething causes him a great deal of pain, which we're doing our best to help him with using natural holistic modalities, including Hyland's teething gel and tablets and Ayurveda and herbs, and the teething makes him very irritable and moody and he fights going to sleep, even though you can see in his eyes that he's very tired and needs rest. We give him his bottle with his non-dairy milk and some drops of chamomile tea, which he needs and likes and it soothes him, but we often have to give him 2 or 3 to do the trick.   We often take turns rocking him, singing him lullabies, and caressing his head, his cheeks, his back, his belly, and we whisper "sweet nothings" to him to comfort and soothe him.  Some nights are harder than others and unfortunately our sleep schedule is very erratic.  He's been known to fall asleep at 11 and sleep until 1 and then wake up screaming and crying and we read to him and do everything we can to soothe him back to sleep, and he sleeps, but it's been known to take a few hours and then he wakes up in the morning screaming and crying and again, you can see in his eyes that he's very tired and we have to give him yet another bottle or 2 with more chamomile tea and after 30 minutes or so of tireless effort, he goes back to sleep and we're exhausted and thankfully, Mommy and Daddy are able to catch up on sleep for a few more hours.  Sadly, we haven't been early morning folks in years, but we do miss them and we'd love to get back to them.  Before our sleep was disrupted and turned upside down by the creeps, when we were in L.A., we'd go to sleep before 10pm and wake up before 8am, and it felt wonderful, but sadly, this is not the case now and it's very stressful for us.  :(  We are non caffeinated coffee drinkers and we believe that rest is very important.


We endure this every night and my dear husband cuddles me to soothe and comfort me because this frustrating pattern with our baby is stressing me out to tears and I can't stand it!  I hope and pray it's temporary and this too shall pass, but it feels like an eternity and I am having a very difficult time coping with it and while there are wonderful gentle kind caring Mommies out there who I'm sure will sympathize, I'm always concerned that other Mommies will judge us, but I hope I'm just being a worrywort.  His crying and screaming is very difficult and exhausting and it's like scratching a chalkboard.  We love our little boy very much with all our heart and he means the world to us and it pains us to have to suffer thru this.  We're going to do our best starting tonight of establishing a healthy routine with lights and computers and tv off at 11pm and soothe and comfort him and help him sleep, but unfortunately, it probably won't happen immediately and we're not very patient and we're worried about how long it will take to correct this and improve it.  Please help, thank you for listening.

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#2 of 6 Old 08-25-2013, 09:41 PM
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I take it you have noisy neighbors? You should probably get a noise machine. You can find one that has white noise or oceans waves or something and turn it up really loud to drown out the neighbors. This might help the baby (and you) sleep. I recommend putting him to bed waaaay before 11pm. Try 8pm tomorrow and do whatever it takes to get him to sleep. Then you guys go to sleep at 9 or 10.

And call the cops on those neighbors if they are being that loud every night.

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#3 of 6 Old 08-25-2013, 10:31 PM
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Ask your doctor about Tylenol for teething. It really works.


Hyland tables were recalled not so long ago for excessive amounts of Beladonna.


Get a white noise generator for the room. It drowns out other sounds

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#4 of 6 Old 08-25-2013, 11:10 PM
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The Hylands tablets are back. The recall was a couple years ago. If they work then I would much rather use them over Tylenol. But sometimes if the pain is so bad the baby can't settle down at all I would give baby ibuprofen.

Also, if you have an iPad you can find free noise machine apps that work really well. :-)

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#5 of 6 Old 08-26-2013, 06:02 AM
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Definitely no judgement! It might also help to try to get your son to begin taking his day nap at 12 if you are aiming for a 8pm bedtime. It helps us a lot. Also we start the wind down routine at 7pm ... Books, bath, pjs, prayers, nursing. My son needs a lot of help to sleep but the timing and routine really help. Also we use black out blinds and a sound machine for naps as our house is thankfully quiet at night. Good luck.
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#6 of 6 Old 08-26-2013, 07:21 PM
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I agree on the painkillers. In my research it seemed that ibuprofen is much harder to overdose on than tylenol so I preferred it. Also I would try to give a lower dose if it worked (i.e. for the weight range below the one that DD was currently in), we were able to do that for all but her 2 year molars at the end.


How many naps is he taking during the day? I recall that my DD went from 2 to 1 nap around 18 months old age (still doing 1 nap at 2.5 years now). The timing of his nap(s) might also be something that you can tweak in order to help him get to sleep easier. Do keep in mind that being sleep deprived can actually make it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep, not easier as you would think, so as you work on this it should definitely improve.


As far as bedtime, I agree that I would start much earlier - we are evening/night people and so DD goes to bed later than many of her peers around here and always has. We start our bedtime routine between 8 and 8:30pm. We either eat dinner right before then or if dinner is much earlier then she gets a bedtime snack to make sure hunger doesn't wake her. I get DD washed up, brush her teeth, put on PJs, change into her night diaper. This usually takes about 15 minutes or so, then she says good night to DH, he usually sings her a couple of songs, and then we read a few books. Now back around your son's age she was still getting milk in her bottle (we introduced night time book reading to take the place of the bottles), then I would either rock her till she fell asleep or put her in her crib and sit with her till she was asleep. She started the crib thing at her own insistence so don't ask me how to accomplish that, but once she began to fall asleep in there her night wakeups definitely decreased. She's normally asleep between 9:30-10pm and the actual "time to fall asleep" once we're done all the other stuff is 30-60 minutes. These days she wakes up around 7am (boo!) but it used to be around 9, even with the same bedtime, which was much easier for me.


If you haven't read it yet, I recommend the "No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley, I've checked it out of the library a few times now when we go through a new "phase" with her sleep. Even if you don't follow the whole approach there are good tips, ideas, and sample schedules in there that may be helpful. And no judgement here mama, we've gotten so many of the "she's not sleeping through the night yet?!?!?" comments ourselves, makes me wanna smack people. eyesroll.gif

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