I'm done with advice. I just need to vent. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've now posted ad nauseam about my inability to help DD nap, a problem that seems to be getting worse, not better, and I'm feeling completely defeated. Now I just need to know that this is going to get better, on its own, with time, and that I'm not failing my poor little girl.

We have tried everything. Consistency, inconsistency, routines, spontaneity, car rides, strollers, carriers, classical music, African music, rock music, bouncy music and calm. We do tickles, massages, on the bed, in the crib, in arms, outside. I talk, I sing, I chant. Pacifier, bottle, lap. Rocking, bouncing, swinging, stomping, skipping. I feel like a circus act and I still cannot get her to fall asleep. Some people say not to stress and they'll sleep when they're tired, but...that's not Bea. She IS tired. She's exhausted and fussy. I can't do anything with her when she's awake because she's always tired. And now it's become clear that I'm dealing with PPD and I really NEED those breaks when she's sleeping. My house is falling apart, and me being a "control outside to soothe the inside" type, I feel completely out of control. I'm so tired of trying to put this baby to sleep.

And! My mom tries to help. Her dad tries to help. But she screams to hyperventilation if anyone but me holds her and instantly stops when she's back in my arms. Flattering, yes, but exhausting when I just. need. a break.

I keep thinking of the Ferber method, how awful it is, but how successful it is in getting babies to give up their will to resist sleep. (Shudder.) I wonder, will Bea be forced to learn to put herself to sleep by crying in my useless arms? Is she having an unusually hard time figuring out how to relax into sleep, or am I just unusually bad at soothing my baby?

Please tell me this will get better. Lie if you have to , but, honestly, will it get better?
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#2 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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Have you looked into reading any books? Like the 'No Cry Sleep Solution'? This book is recommended quite a bit on MDC and does have some very helpful advice.
I would also suggest to please get yourself the time you need to re-coop and get the rest YOU need. If you're ehausted, this isn't going to help the situation at all. Do you wear your LO? I don't think that was mentioned. Maybe give that a try? There are so many different carriers out there now to accomodate all types of babies. I know that when my little guy isn't happy anywhere else, I plop him on my back and he's good to go. At least it gives me a chance to get some things accomplished around the house.

Eventually, yes, it will get better.

One happy mama to 1/06 , 3/10 , and married to my best friend
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#3 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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What happens when you put her down when you know she's tired? I'm not advocating CIO, but some babies really do seem to need to fuss or cry for just a minute or two and then fall right to sleep. The same babies who won't fall asleep in arms, no matter what you do. This explains it better:

http://moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie/2006...s_and_cio.html

In any case, hang in there as best you can. It really does get better. It may take a few years, but it gets better.
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#4 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 07:48 PM
 
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Hang in there, mama. This will definitely get better. I am struggling with PPD and PTSD from an extremely difficult pregnancy. 5mo DD is a terrible napper/sleeper and it has been wearing on me increasingly for a long time. We have a routine of not having a routine. As soon as I figure something out, she changes and I'm even more exhausted than I was before because of that emotional stress. Having DP there to take her every once in a while is a huge help for me because even if she's crying, at least she's with Daddy. I really do need to take breaks to recharge emotionally and go back to soothing her.

I understand that you just want to vent, and without being disrespectful of that fact, I just wanted to throw in there that CIO is rarely beneficial to babies, if ever, even if it seems like it helps them. I do second that babies sometimes need a minute to fuss and squirm around; my baby does this. Sometimes if I let her fuss in the bed for maybe 2 mins max, I'll pick her up and she's much sleepier. While she's fussing on the bed, I will quietly talk to her and say things like "Oh, my tired baby, I know, shh shh" I would never let her cry herself to sleep because that is not normal/healthy. Holding your baby in your arms and attempting to soothe her is completely different than CIO. Even if you think she's not soothed by being held by you, she's definitely better off than being left to cry by herself. It can be INCREDIBLY frustrating to see your baby cry in your arms because you feel like you're an incompetent mom or not doing a good enough job, etc, but you're not, trust me! I find it hard to follow my own adivce when Evie is arching her back and choking because she's been crying, but at least I know that I'm trying..

Speaking of which, Daddy is asking for help right now because we've been trying to get DD to nap for 2 hours. Yikes. I feel your pain, mama. I apologize for unsolicited advice, but I felt like you were asking for help with the Ferber thing.

Happy excited Mama! Evelyn Isabel born March 12, 2010!
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#5 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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IT DOES GET BETTER! It did for us anyway. DS was much the same way and we tried everything and I was of course convinced it was something I was doing. After he was six months he got better and now he pretty consistently has two decent naps, although we still have our off days. Hang in there!

Wife to an awesome stay at home dad and mama to a crazy 2 year old, expecting #2 Jan 3

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#6 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 08:52 PM
 
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Have you considered craniosacral therapy? It might be worth a shot.
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#7 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 09:08 PM
 
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How old is your LO? It definitely does get easier, but like a PP mentioned, the minute you think you have them figured out, they go and change their routine! Don't feel like a failure, because I think lots of us on here are 'winging it'. Some may make it look easy, but it rarely is.

I saw you mentioned carriers, but that it hadn't helped. What I found was that my DSs needed a bit of time to get used to them, but after that, had no problem going to sleep on my back. At that point, I'd either sneakily slide them off onto the bed or just keep them up there.

It's a bit of a trick to get baby up there, but practise with a sack of potatoes (there are a million videos on youtube) and, not knowing what kind of carrier you have, most adapt to back carries (wrap, mei tai, ergo, etc). Baby can see over your shoulder, so you can go on about your day while she's entertained by a constantly-changing vantage point. You can get the laundry in, dishes done, etc.

Hang in there! If you have help from your mom, send her out with baby in the stroller. It will give you some time to yourself and in all likelihood, your LO will have a little cry before going to sleep or will at least be entertained by the sights of the neighbourhood. With PPD, take all the help offered you.

Mama of 2 sweet boys, Miles (Jan 3/07) and Avery (Nov 28/09) My fast and furious HBAC
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#8 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 09:27 PM
 
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It does get better. Both of my kids sometimes cried themselves to sleep in my arms because there was just nothing that I could do to soothe them. My DD especially, I remember vividly walking laps of our living room at 1am with her crying in my arms, after I spent an hour trying to soothe her in every way I could think, and just crying along with her. We parented to sleep/coslept for the first 4 years of her life.

She's 4 years old now, and falls asleep on her own in her room and stays there all night most nights, though a couple nights a week she comes in with us, which is just fine with us.

You do have a good carrier, right? If not, you NEED one. If you have one and she doesn't like it, try another kind. (I.e., my son loved my pouch, my daughter HATED it with a white hot passion and only was happy upright in a Moby type wrap). She gets the satisfaction of being with you, you get to get stuff done. I wore my daughter from about 2 months old until about 16 months old, daily, for at least a couple hours a day...some days upwards of 5 or 6 hours. Wore her in a Moby until she got too big, then in a Beco on my back from about 7 months on. LIFE.SAVER. NO JOKE.

DD wouldn't let anyone but me hold her for the first 6 months without screaming (even her daddy, my DH). After 6 months daddy could hold her for about 10 minutes, but then she wanted me, that lasted for a few more months - then she was happy as long as we were in the same room and she *could* get to me if she wanted to...but if I was out of the room, or if there was a gate or something else blocking her from me, lookout. She had severe separation anxiety until 18 months. I just kept pushing her a little (read - not forcing her to scream for me to "learn" to be independent) past her comfort zone as she got older (like, after 12 months or so I would start leaving the room for a few minutes on purpose and then come back and make a big deal out of coming back always....

Now, she's a 4 yo very excited to go to PreK next week and I bet won't even look back when she goes in the door.

It's hard sometimes, especially when you have a baby that needs YOU a LOT. Hang in there, my BTDT is that it DOES get better with time.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#9 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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It DOES get better. BTDT with dd1. She too went through a phase where no one but me could hold her. It was pretty intense.

By a year, she was pretty much sleeping through the night, often in her own room.

By age three or so she was falling asleep in her own room, by herself.

In addition to the other books that have been suggested, I would recommend "Raising Your Spirited Child." I wish I had found that book earlier.

I know you said you have tried everything, but just wanted to throw in that baths were HUGE for dd1. She slept SO well after one. And if she cried in the bath, one of us in there with her seemed to solve the issue, and made for some fun times too.

Also, what I learned from that experience is that taking five or ten minutes to step away while baby cries does NOT hurt baby, makes me calmer, and in the end makes everyone happier. Especially if there is another pair of loving arms willing to hold her while you get a break. Like a pp said, crying in arms is NOT the same as CIO.

ETA: Cranio sacral and chiropractic can both be amazing for non-sleepers. If any of my kids start having sleep problems, it is one of the first things we try. Some places in their spines being out can prevent them from relaxing fully and letting go into sleep. If your baby has never been adjusted, it is possible she is out of alignment from the birth process and this is messing with her sleep. An adjustment certainly won't hurt her.

Wife to Thomas, WAH mama to Sofia Rose 8/04, Ellen Marie 10/07, her twin sister Amalie Joy lost 7/07 , and Maya Grace and Hannah Miriam 4/10
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#10 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 09:42 PM
 
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It does get better! DS was a colicky crier, he made gradual improvements in three month increments over the first year. He's a grand 5.5 year old sleeper now.

Get your breaks outside the house where you can't hear your poor LO cry. Twenty minutes for you will be miraculous, and she will survive. It's hard to make the break, but you can do it.

My 7 week old DD needs to be carried all day to nap too right now. However, she does sleep all through the night, so it's not been that hard on me.

I'm also totally dependent on the stretchy wraps (Baby K'tan and Blue Celery). They are so comfy. She's in the upright, "kangaroo" hold where I can get a lot done holding her. Over the last few weeks she's grown more and more mellow...maybe from sleeping against my chest all day? She doesn't like the sling styles just yet though. And I can't wait to get her on my back!

~Janie~ | DH | DS: '05. - Playful Parenting/UP. Baby girl July 2010
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#11 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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I didn't see swaddling on your list, which isn't to say you haven't tried it , but that is the only way I get Cecilia to sleep longer than 20 minutes or so. I also have been told that the No Cry Nap Solution is an amazing book for babies who won't nap.

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#12 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 10:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post
I didn't see swaddling on your list, which isn't to say you haven't tried it , but that is the only way I get Cecilia to sleep longer than 20 minutes or so. I also have been told that the No Cry Nap Solution is an amazing book for babies who won't nap.
Oh my gosh, yes, how could I forget swaddling? My twins LIVED in the velcro swaddle blankets their first couple of months, and I firmly believe that is why they slept better than either of my first two. Like, for hours at a time better.

Wife to Thomas, WAH mama to Sofia Rose 8/04, Ellen Marie 10/07, her twin sister Amalie Joy lost 7/07 , and Maya Grace and Hannah Miriam 4/10
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#13 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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I hear you! Someone lent me yet another book on getting baby to STTN, and I just about cried. I'm so done with advice right now.

HOWEVER! I can definitely see great improvement in DD's naps and nighttime sleeping from day 1 till now, at 10 1/2 months. She takes 2 X 40-minute naps a day--that's it. That's apparently all she needs. I have given up trying to make them longer and reading obsessively about how to make them longer. I nurse her down or take her in the stroller and, if that doesn't work, come home and nurse her down again.

For nights, she went from sleeping 20 minutes at a time to 1 hour to 2 hours to 3... and at about 10 months she was doing a regular 4-5 hour stretch when she went to bed. Yes, I still get up twice at night and yes, I'm still tired. But it's so much better! What's hard is having moms ask me "Oh, she's still not STTN?" ARGH!!!!!!

I expect she'll continue to improve, have setbacks, improve again, and one day sleep fine. My DH apparently only slept 20 minutes at a time until he started school at 4, so if my MIL can live with that kind of sleep deprivation craziness, I guess I can get through this, too.

And you will, too! Hang in there.

Woman, Wife, Mom to beautiful DD (10/14/09), Copywriter, occasionally tearing my hair out but usually pretty happy about it all
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#14 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much to everyone for your support and suggestions. It really does help. Just to respond to a few things -

About babywearing - well, it was the thing that frustrated me to no end LAST month. I wanted to wear her so badly, but she stopped tolerating her Moby in any position. I shelled out for a used Ergo, but she'll only agree to it for short bouts when she's well-fed and someplace really exciting, like the grocery store. I was sure she'd dig a sling and made one, but...so far, no dice. We haven't tried the back carry yet, so I think it's time we gave it a shot. Can't hurt, huh? (unless I drop her getting her in)

For books - I just reread NCNS cover to cover today. It hasn't helped us much, I think because we're SO far off track. For instance, Bea hasn't started associating the nap routine with sleep because I can rarely get her to sleep at the end. I love using books for help, though, so any suggestions are very welcome.

As for swaddling - we stopped a long time ago because Bea was in a harness for hip dysplasia for several months. Her hip has developed well, so maybe I'll try to pick up one of the velcro type in her size. I do think her body movements tend to keep her awake, which is why she sleeps so well snuggled near me at night. It's definitely worth a shot.

And I have an old friend who's an infant chiropractor in town. I'm surprised I didn't think of that!

The crying thing is toughest for me. I know in my head that it's not the same as CIO if she's held by loving arms, mine or otherwise, but...my heart breaks just the same. Glad to know others have gone through something similar and both mamas and babies emerged in one piece.
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#15 of 27 Old 09-01-2010, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
What happens when you put her down when you know she's tired? I'm not advocating CIO, but some babies really do seem to need to fuss or cry for just a minute or two and then fall right to sleep. The same babies who won't fall asleep in arms, no matter what you do. This explains it better:

http://moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie/2006...s_and_cio.html

In any case, hang in there as best you can. It really does get better. It may take a few years, but it gets better.

this!!!! totally!!!!!!!!
i wish i had seen this blog before dealing with my sleep-fighting newborn. but i figured it out accidentally one day after being stuck in the bathroom. she cried for, i dunno, 2 or 3 minutes and by the time i got there she was....gasp....asleep! i started to get dressed she started to cry again, but alas, i was stuck and unable to get to her, she cried again for a couple minutes and again by the time i got to her she was asleep again. this time she stayed asleep and it was the first real nap she ever took. i think it was for 45 whole minutes and she was already 2 months old. now i know that if we're having a struggle going down for a nap if i hear crying (rather than shreeking or talking or banging around), it's a good thing. it means that she's ready to work it out and i will probably be able to put her to sleep soon.

btw, at 6 month or so my sleep-fighter started taking 2 solid predictable naps a day, both lasting 1.5 hours. she still fights sleep but she naps well!

and i second and third the swaddling

Reluctant 'Sconie, chassid and mama to sweet toughie Ada Bluma 9/9/09 and loving pittie-mix ("Judge the deed, not the breed!")
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#16 of 27 Old 09-02-2010, 02:40 AM
 
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First of all:

I second the idea to try Craniosacral therapy, it often takes only one to three sessions to see the effect.
And swaddling. And the No-Cry Nap Solution.

And FWIW, it's not CIO for a baby to cry in your loving arms. CIO is abandoning a baby to cry themselves to sleep alone. Big difference. Of course we want to avoid crying, but I would say once you've tried everything then that may be an option. My son is also one that sometimes needs to fuss a bit before settling down. Some babies have a hard time with the transition from awake to sleep and vice versa.

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#17 of 27 Old 09-02-2010, 10:15 AM
 
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I would suggest Raising Your Spirited Child. I didn't catch how old your dd is, so much in the book might not apply to her yet. But often spirited toddlers start as "colicky" or "high needs" babies. Perhaps she has some sensory issues? Some kids who are sensory avoiders don't LIKE to be held, especially not tightly all snuggled up. Those kids might actually NEED to be put down, alone, with as little sensory input as possible. And they might NEED to cry out a little, it's their way of decompressing from the stress of a sensory-heavy world. I am NOT advocating CIO with no concern for her welfare, with an ultimate motive of "teaching" her something. I'm advocating meeting her needs, which for some babies, is to just be left alone.

Mommy to BigBoy Ian (3-17-05) ; LittleBoy Connor (3-3-07) (DiGeorge/VCFS):; BabyBoy Gavin (10-3-09) x3 AngelBaby (1-7-06)
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#18 of 27 Old 09-02-2010, 10:30 AM
 
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My Dd was like this.

She did not nap at all until after the 1st year and until I started letting her figure it out (vs. trying to rock her and micromanage it for her--some kids it turns out really need to be left alone to sleep). She didn't sttn either.

Until that magical day that she began napping (and only 1 nap a day, I never got the 2 naps) I put her in her jumper and let her watch Baby Einstein so I could pee, eat, take a shower, not run screaming into the street.

Then I hired some mother's helpers to come by 2x a week for like 2 hours.

That was how I dealt with it.

It was pretty miserable and stressful. When she finally began napping, I didn't know what to do with myself!

I hope your LO starts napping soon for you.

My Dd takes 1 nap a day now for 2-3 hours. I still can't believe it!

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#19 of 27 Old 09-02-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by newmamalizzy View Post
The crying thing is toughest for me. I know in my head that it's not the same as CIO if she's held by loving arms, mine or otherwise, but...my heart breaks just the same. Glad to know others have gone through something similar and both mamas and babies emerged in one piece.
My dd cried SO MUCH her first 7 months. I know how awful it is. I would carry/bounce/rock/nurse/snuggle/stroller/etc. for hours every day (and night).

I remember when my dad came to visit when she was 4 months old. I was such a wreck that he finally took her for a stroller ride; I could hear her crying from a block away...I cried and cried.

It does pass, and they turn out fine. My dd is smart, funny, independent, happy, and healthy at 3.5 years.

You said that she sleeps well snuggled with you at night. Maybe it would be possible to recreate your bedtime routine in a darkened room. If you can't get a break while she naps, maybe you can nap with her. It is an imperfect and temporary solution, but both of you could probably use more rest.

I remember not wanting to nap because I spent so many hours in (and out of) bed trying to get a good night's rest between all the night waking...and that was with ds who was/is a great sleeper compared to dd at his age.

Hang in there, remember that it is temporary, and do everything you can to get what you need to be healthy.
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#20 of 27 Old 09-02-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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I'm sorry! I really feel for you. My DS2 was super high needs and he didn't sleep, either! He woke every 45 minutes overnight, and all day long he would doze occasionally, but the second I moved an inch he'd be awake and wanting to nurse again. It was EXHAUSTING and overwhelming and left me often feeling like I'd lose my mind!

So, I'd put him on my back in a wrap. I would get him into a really secure carry(usually the backwrap cross carry but sometimes something called a "wiggleproof" carry). And I'd go about my business. I'd do laundry, cook, clean, whatever needed to be done. Sometimes he'd cry, and so I'd bounce around a bit and 'shush.' Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. But I had to do what I had to do, and it was not "CIO" because I wasn't leaving him alone to just cry.

Things did get easier as he got older, but I can't say napping ever got easier. He never did nap.
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#21 of 27 Old 09-02-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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BIG mama, I have so been there. I didn't see how old your DD was, but wanted you to know it WILL get better. Around 8-9 months was the worst for us, and it slowly started getting better by 10 months. From then on he began a consistent nap/sleep schedule and rarely cries before sleep anymore.

My DS was always a sleep fighter (still is, but it is a little different with a 2 year old ) and ALWAYS cried before going to sleep. He was so alert and active, and didn't ever want to miss a thing. It took me holding him tightly, and rocking him in a PITCH BLACK DARK room, with white noise (fan) and he would cry for about 10-20 minutes and then fall asleep. I was at my wits end most days with him, because he had just gotten in this cycle of overtiredness and I never seemed to catch his "sleep window." The when he began walking around 9.5/10 months, I think he finally tired himself out so much that he didn't resist sleep as bad, and he started going to sleep without as much of a fight. He also dropped to one longer nap a day, rather than 2. I did have to nap with him, because he would wake to nurse 1-3 times during his nap, but I was so exhausted I needed the sleep too.

One book that really helped me was Sleepless in America. It has great ideas for structuring your day to help maximize sleep. I think my biggest mistake with my DS was trying to follow his cues so much that I spent all my energy doing that, rather than having a more structured routine to our day. (I was just so exhausted though I couldn't really go about my day.. he was also waking every hour or more through the night.) Not saying that I should've put him on a "schedule" but some kids do thrive on a routine that is set before them.. Now that we do have a routine to our day, he does SO much better. Also, a very SHORT bedtime and naptime routine works best for him... and now that he has predictible naptimes and bedtimes (12:00 nap, 9:00 bedtime) we start to "wind down" about an hour before those times approach. He needs that time to settle, because his mind and body are all over the place.. he is very smart and active and has a really hard time quieting his mind.

I suggest trying to structure your days to be somewhat the same for a week, don't try to force any naps, and write down the times where she seems most tired and/or falls asleep. See if there is a pattern to her sleepiness at all. The next week, try to keep the same "schedule" and "force" naps during the sleepy times. The routine that works best for us is----

6-7:00- Wakeup (DS wakes at this time no matter what, not my choice.. )
Breakfast and Sesame Street
8-11:00ish- we get out of the house.. go for a walk, run errands, play outside
11:30- lunch
12:00- naptime
1:30-2:00- wakeup and snack
2:00-5:00- chores/playing in the house (I try to incorporate him into the chores, but he usually chooses to play independantly with frequent check-ins)
5:00- start making dinner, DH comes home
6:00- Dinner
7:00-8:00-- DH plays with DS (usually somewhat active play)
8:00- quiet play (we dim the lights, turn off tv, read books and draw, etc)
9:00- brush teeth, jammies, and bedtime (DH puts him to sleep by holding him on his bed)

And the best part is he actually STTN most nights now too! That's a whole nother thread though.. took nightweaning and moving to his own bed around 19 months, but went really well!

good luck mama, it will get better! hang in there!!!!

Catie belly.gif- Happy wife to Aaron stillheart.gif(01.05), mama to Liambikenew.gif(08.08), and Ian jammin.gif (11.10)! homebirth.jpgnocirc.giffamilybed1.gif and joy.gif due Feb 2013 with blessing #3!

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#22 of 27 Old 09-02-2010, 08:56 PM
 
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I am so sorry mama! Hugs. I have been where you are at. My DD is a horrific sleep resister and terrible night sleeper. She is also super high needs and I was cracking apart by the time she was 5/6 months old. I have to say though, that contrary to what alot of people say sleep books did not help us. Especially the No Cry Sleep Solution. I think it works for most babies, but not ours. I tried her ways. For 2 solid months. And then I made some shocking discoveries while on vacation (when I had to abandon some of those techniques). Sleep does not beget sleep in our house. Too much napping during the day results in 8-9 hours of total sleep at night. And trying to get her down at the first sign of fatigue only resulted in 2-3 hour struggles. DD just defied any schedule.

On vacation she took shorter naps, sleeping probably a total of 2-2.5 hours a day, when she was tired. And she began sleeping 11 hours at night, in longer stretches (meaning 3-4 or more hour chunks instead of waking every 1-3 hours) instead of the 8-9 hours a night she was sleeping. It seems to be continuing since we've been back - about a week.

In my experience I realized DD sleeps 12-13 hours a day max total and if she naps too much she doesn't sleep well at night. What I learned is that taking YOUR baby's cues, not other people's or the sleep books advice is best. Driving myself nuts trying to get DD to nap enough or when the books told me she needed to go down was driving me crazy. We have less nap time now, but I have better night time sleep, which makes me better able to deal during the day. And going down for naps is less of a struggle because she is actually REALLY tired (she could begin yawning like 1.5 hours before this) and ready to pass out, which is also a real sanity booster.

I hope you find a solution for your LO...

mama to Rassa, born 12/9/09
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#23 of 27 Old 09-02-2010, 09:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tattooed Hand View Post
On vacation she took shorter naps, sleeping probably a total of 2-2.5 hours a day, when she was tired. And she began sleeping 11 hours at night, in longer stretches (meaning 3-4 or more hour chunks instead of waking every 1-3 hours) instead of the 8-9 hours a night she was sleeping. It seems to be continuing since we've been back - about a week.

In my experience I realized DD sleeps 12-13 hours a day max total and if she naps too much she doesn't sleep well at night. What I learned is that taking YOUR baby's cues, not other people's or the sleep books advice is best.
THis is a good point. My kids have always been on the very low end of sleep needs, gave up naps early, and always got the most sleep at night. they were both down to 1, about 2-hour nap by 10 months, and done napping at 26 and 28 months. Sure, they COULD have napped from 3-4 pm when they were 2, when they were actually tired, but then they'd be up until 11pm or midnight and still be up at 6am the next day and only net about 9 hours of sleep...whereas with no nap they'd get almost 12 - they woke between 6 and 6:30 am (at the LATEST; regularly between 5 and 6am) no matter what time they went to bed for the first 4 years of their lives, both of them, and only in the past year have they regularly slept until 7am. So pretty early on I learned to maximize nighttime sleep hours and then work naps backwards from there.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#24 of 27 Old 09-02-2010, 09:21 PM
 
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Please tell me this will get better. Lie if you have to , but, honestly, will it get better?
For us, it hasn't. My son is 5, and he simply needs less sleep than average. Way less. Now it's manageable because he can entertain himself, but the infant stage was really, really difficult for me. The best thing I found was to work in uninterrupted sleep 1-2 times a week (for us, it was one evening and one weekend day during the daytime).

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#25 of 27 Old 09-02-2010, 11:49 PM
 
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Like tzs, I discovered once after having to go to the bathroom that DD sometimes just needs to fuss for 5 minutes and she will go to sleep. Not every time - sometimes she needs to be rocked/nursed to sleep. But some days she is just overly wired, and holding her sends her right over the edge. I realized that on those days, trying to force the holding thing meant hours of crying and flailing, and extreme frustration for both of us. Putting her in her crib, stroking her a few times, and telling her softly to go night-night, and then sometimes even walking away, was the only thing I could do for her. She would fuss or cry for just a few minutes, and then completely conk out.

I didn't see the age of your babe, but I know that when DD was getting her first two teeth, she slept HORRIBLY. Once those two came in, however, she slept much better.

Finally, some kids just don't nap well. DD is ten months and usually takes a single one-hour nap a day. That's it. She will, however, sleep for 13 or 14 hours straight through the night. I put her to bed between 6:30 and 7:00 - and the next few hours are my "me time." That's when I pick up the house a bit, do laundry, get things ready for the next day, and then RELAX before going to bed.

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#26 of 27 Old 09-04-2010, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I said this once already, but I have to say it again - Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your helpful responses. It is endlessly comforting for me to know that I'm not the only one who has/had problems like this. DD is 5 months, by the way, and since posting this I've been trying to just relax more about the napping thing. Instead of trying to force her down, I'm trying to just give her frequent opportunities to sleep in the ways I know are easiest for her, even if they're on the sleep-association no-no list. I'm also trying to give her more time when she doesn't have to actively participate in life. I realized that because she doesn't like being worn, I stopped doing chores and felt like I needed to interact/play with her all the time. I'm hoping that if I ease up a bit she'll be able to relax a bit more...and maybe fall asleep one of these days! If not, at least I'll have a cleaner house.
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#27 of 27 Old 09-04-2010, 11:34 PM
 
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DS 2 is almost a year old. He does NOT SLEEP. It is incredibly hard, but I find that adjusting my attitude helps some. Also, he responds a bit more to daylight than he used to- he may not nap during the day, but he does sleep at night provided the stars align just right and I do the right rituals (swaddle and pat his back until he falls asleep on my shoulder- then let him stay there for half an hour before bed... then slide into bed attempting not to move him too much, unswaddling as he goes so I can ensure that he is still touching me somehow...)


Sanity during the day is better than it was as he is getting more mobile. He doesn't sleep, but he does play more on his own and he cruises the furniture and unshelves all the toys for a good 20 minutes at a time. A good carrier has been a must here as well.
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