having such a hard time with my 20 month old son - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 06-05-2011, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I almost feel like I'm just incapable of life. My awesome, energetic son is, IMO, extremely high maintaince, he still breastfeeds every hour to hours. He still wakes up several times a night, has become a picky eater and throws massive temper tantrums all day long. My husband help a lot, and both of us are completely EXHAUSTED! I really wan to give our son a sibling but my husband is scared too now consider how hard this journey has been thus far. I love the AP route, didn't really feel like I had a choice, it just came so natural, but sometimes I'm jealous of people who get to have kids who just kinds sit there sometimes and parents that do not feel guilty about formulas feeding, when they didn't have to, or watching TV, or leaving their kids with just "okay" baby sitter. My standards for my son are high, I know that I expected it to be harder if I did not, but OMG. My brain is "fried" form the lack of sleep and I'm fearing a major burn out that could last the rest of my parenting career. 

I hate night time nursing, its uncomfortable, and I remember every wake up. My kid hasn't slept more than 3 hours since birth, and all along this I'm plagued with guilt because I feel so fortunate to have a healthy son

I have read EVERY book and have very little help other than my husband

When does it get easier???

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#2 of 21 Old 06-05-2011, 02:40 PM
 
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From what you've said it sounds as though both of you getting more sleep would hugely improve your quality of life? How do you feel about nightweaning and/or gentle sleep training techniques? Although many mamas find sleeping for longer follows nightweaning/placing limits on breastfeeding.

 

 

 

 

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#3 of 21 Old 06-05-2011, 03:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hippiemom85 View Post

 My brain is "fried" form the lack of sleep and I'm fearing a major burn out that could last the rest of my parenting career. 

I hate night time nursing, its uncomfortable, and I remember every wake up. My kid hasn't slept more than 3 hours since birth, and all along this I'm plagued with guilt because I feel so fortunate to have a healthy son

 

It feels like too much because it is too much. It is reasonable to feel burned out and I think you are right to be concerned there are potential long term consequences from this - I would be especially concerned about your health. Yes, there are people who night nurse for years on end and they aren't tired, but that isn't everyone and you need to know your limits. It isn't doing anyone a favor for you to feel like hell and it isn't necessary to be in this state in order to be a good parent.

 

If you want to I would strongly encourage you to explore ways to gently wean away from night nursing. I know when we did I wished I'd done it sooner. Those solid blocks of sleep transformed all of our lives in a positive way.
 

 

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#4 of 21 Old 06-05-2011, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks guys, i think I'm going to have to night wean

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#5 of 21 Old 06-05-2011, 05:45 PM
 
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Never more than three hours of sleep must be so rough! Both my girls were sleeping for five to six hour stretches at night, straight from birth (and for much longer by the time they were your ds's age), so I honestly don't know what it's like to be so sleep deprived! And after that early morning nursing, they'd go right back to sleep for a couple more hours. I didn't even have to completely wake up to nurse them.

 

So, yeah, I never needed to night wean -- but in my case night weaning would have seriously disrupted my sleep. It's really not like I "stuck it out" and "didn't give up" for all those years.

 

My heart goes out to you, Mama! Please keep us posted about how everything's going!

 

 


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#6 of 21 Old 06-05-2011, 05:57 PM
 
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Why do we kill ourselves to met some ideal mother image that NO ONE actually accomplishes?

 

How much AP is "good enough"? When you cant bear to be aorund your own child b/c you are so exhausted? Does breastfeeing mean that much in all honesty? More then being functional and happy?

 

I have seen it so much of this since joining mothering groups.

 

We need to start making the mothers happy and healthy if we are to have any success with our kids. If we become so unplugged b/c of pressure to be perfect...we are missing so much.

 

Your son wont fail to be a healthy happy child if you stop night nursing. If you implement some parenting boundires.

 

Parents have the right to establish boundries with their children when they are affecting the parents health to this degree.

 

 

 

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#7 of 21 Old 06-05-2011, 07:31 PM
 
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I too had to set some limits with my son in regards to BF'ing. I think they get in the habit of waking to nurse but many times can stop so much easier than we might think. When my son stopped nursing at night (2.5) he and I got much more sleep as a result. You might want to use the Dr. Sears' suggestion of telling him 'Mommy goes night-night, Daddy goes night-night, Nummies go night-night" or something to that effect. Maybe your husband could try soothing him if he wakes up. Could the tantrums be in part related to the sleep disturbances? Good Luck!

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#8 of 21 Old 06-07-2011, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by beenmum View Post

Why do we kill ourselves to met some ideal mother image that NO ONE actually accomplishes?

 

How much AP is "good enough"? When you cant bear to be aorund your own child b/c you are so exhausted? Does breastfeeing mean that much in all honesty? More then being functional and happy?

 

I have seen it so much of this since joining mothering groups.

 

We need to start making the mothers happy and healthy if we are to have any success with our kids. If we become so unplugged b/c of pressure to be perfect...we are missing so much.

 

Your son wont fail to be a healthy happy child if you stop night nursing. If you implement some parenting boundires.

 

Parents have the right to establish boundries with their children when they are affecting the parents health to this degree.

 

 

 

not really striving to be some mother I'm not , just trying to do the best I can according to my own conscience
 

 

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#9 of 21 Old 06-07-2011, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks guys, I havent really figured anything out, would be nice to hear someone else going through the same thing or someone who used too, thanks again  for the feed back

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#10 of 21 Old 06-07-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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This is an article that I found very helpful when I was going through similar things with my DDs.

 

http://www.continuum-concept.org/reading/whosInControl.html

 

I did eventually night-wean my 2nd DD when she was 2.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#11 of 21 Old 06-07-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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thanks guys, I havent really figured anything out, would be nice to hear someone else going through the same thing or someone who used too, thanks again  for the feed back


I just wanted to let you know that we are dealing with similar things... I didn't respond because I don't really know that I have anything useful to offer you. My DS is high maintenance too and is improving quite a bit (and now we are receiving Early Intervention services which also seems to be helping with some of his issues) -- I would say around 2 years old was a big turning point for us, he started eating better, sleeping better, generally calmer... but there are still so many hard days, so many times when I tell myself I just wasn't cut out to be a mom. But it's getting easier, he's been hard since birth, but it's less constant now -- he has more good days... We also really want to give DS a sibling but it's just not working out (we have some trouble conceiving I guess) but the sad thing is, in my mind I think having 2 kids will be easier, because eventually they can entertain each other, but I am absolutely terrified of having another kid even a tenth as difficult as DS. (Sometimes I wonder if that's why we are having trouble TTC, maybe I'm subconsciously preventing it or something!!) Anyway, I'm sorry I can't be more help but if you want to talk/vent I am glad to listen & commiserate!!

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#12 of 21 Old 06-07-2011, 05:57 PM
 
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nak

 

i went through similar situation with my son. we tried nightweaning and things got worse. i worried about supply, and found him fussier during day feeds.  there is some mommy amnesia about it, so i don't recall all the details, but we rearranged our sleeping arrangements and i actually started looking forward to nights (more than naps, which were disastrous). you have to do what is best for you, but my experience tells you to hold on to night nursing. is there anything about the nights that you could adjust to make it easier for you? go to bed earlier? bring the laptop and watch netflix during feedings? write poetry during feedings (seriously! i wrote some powerful heartfelt stuff at 3 am!) eventually, even with all the wakings, i came to terms with it, and by 2 yrs things got better. at 3, ds still sleeps w/ dh (i'm in another room with dd now to not wake them.) ds weaned on his own when i was about 3 mo pregnant. it was easy and natural for both of us and now he sleeps from 7pm to 6 am. (naps are long gone.) Not to say we don't deal with new issues now that there is a baby in the house, but maybe her presence was a positive distraction that taught ds some independence.

 

follow your heart! good luck and keep us posted!


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#13 of 21 Old 06-08-2011, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiemom85 View Post

thanks guys, I havent really figured anything out, would be nice to hear someone else going through the same thing or someone who used too, thanks again  for the feed back




I just wanted to let you know that we are dealing with similar things... I didn't respond because I don't really know that I have anything useful to offer you. My DS is high maintenance too and is improving quite a bit (and now we are receiving Early Intervention services which also seems to be helping with some of his issues) -- I would say around 2 years old was a big turning point for us, he started eating better, sleeping better, generally calmer... but there are still so many hard days, so many times when I tell myself I just wasn't cut out to be a mom. But it's getting easier, he's been hard since birth, but it's less constant now -- he has more good days... We also really want to give DS a sibling but it's just not working out (we have some trouble conceiving I guess) but the sad thing is, in my mind I think having 2 kids will be easier, because eventually they can entertain each other, but I am absolutely terrified of having another kid even a tenth as difficult as DS. (Sometimes I wonder if that's why we are having trouble TTC, maybe I'm subconsciously preventing it or something!!) Anyway, I'm sorry I can't be more help but if you want to talk/vent I am glad to listen & commiserate!!


thank you soooo much, I really appreciate it. I share ALL of your feeling about having another

What is the early intervention for and what does it involve?

 

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#14 of 21 Old 06-08-2011, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

This is an article that I found very helpful when I was going through similar things with my DDs.

 

http://www.continuum-concept.org/reading/whosInControl.html

 

I did eventually night-wean my 2nd DD when she was 2.



was is hard to night wean? how long did it take her to come to terms with it?

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#15 of 21 Old 06-08-2011, 09:48 PM
 
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I am so sorry you're going through this, Mama! My last baby is a year and a half old and he is really high maintenance too.  I have struggled with space issues and boundaries.  Our LLL leader, and a good friend of mine, has been known to say that breastfeeding can often serve as an early form of discipline.  She's totally AP, so she doesn't mean punishing or anything outlandish, just that it is a good way to teach older babies limits, boundaries, and respect.  And I totally agree!  It doesn't do anybody any good to be at another's beck and call.  You will get so exhausted! 

 

I hope you are able to find ways to get *you* some time alone and much needed rest.  Somethings that have helped me over the years was joining a reading club, joining a band where we rehearse once a week, walking the mall alone, walking, gardening now that it's summer.  During those times, daddy is in charge, and it's mommy-only time.  Helps recharge my batteries!  If you can't take a cup of tea (or a glass of wine!) and take a bath alone with the door locked.  And I, too, would look towards night-weaning.  Good luck, mama!!


 

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#16 of 21 Old 06-08-2011, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you much!

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#17 of 21 Old 06-09-2011, 04:57 AM
 
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What is the early intervention for and what does it involve?


My DS has what appears to be (we have not sought formal diagnosis) Sensory Processing Disorder as well as some issues with social & emotional regulation. I do think those things largely contribute to his "high needs" nature, although I think part of it is just how he is. He was/is "high needs" to the extreme -- waking every 20mins all night long, for ex. -- and finally we turned to EI, thanks to some urging from other MDC members! EI is free and provides services to qualified children ages 0-3 with various developmental delays or other high-risk issues. We have regular appointments with the EI specialist as well as occupational therapy. They come to our home. DS is doing great in all other areas but there are other services available such as feeding therapy, speech therapy, etc. I can elaborate further if you're interested!

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#18 of 21 Old 06-09-2011, 01:56 PM
 
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I just want to throw out another thought.  Our son was high needs, woke up every 3-4 hours and fell apart often throughout the day.

We discovered he had some food intolerances.  For us, cutting out gluten and lactose was key (I am not sure if lactose is even a problem, we cut them both out at the same time).  He also had toddler reflux, brought on by a stomach bug-he took a two week dose of prevacid for that.


Turns out his stomach hurt....a lot of the time. he did have random tantrums because he was in pain and other tantrums because he was tired because he couldnt sleep because of the pain.  ANd I am sure some tantrums because we were always tired and not being present with him.

 

Last night he slept 10 hrs straight, drank a bottle and slept another hour.

 

His whole attitude has been changing over the past few months (we cut gluten in mid-January).  He is a generally happy kid (18 months now) sleeps fine (not great, but good)  Our families and close friends have noticed and commented on it too.

 

ANyways, that was my experience, I want to put it out there with hopes that it will help others!

 

 

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#19 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiemom85 View Post

What is the early intervention for and what does it involve?




My DS has what appears to be (we have not sought formal diagnosis) Sensory Processing Disorder as well as some issues with social & emotional regulation. I do think those things largely contribute to his "high needs" nature, although I think part of it is just how he is. He was/is "high needs" to the extreme -- waking every 20mins all night long, for ex. -- and finally we turned to EI, thanks to some urging from other MDC members! EI is free and provides services to qualified children ages 0-3 with various developmental delays or other high-risk issues. We have regular appointments with the EI specialist as well as occupational therapy. They come to our home. DS is doing great in all other areas but there are other services available such as feeding therapy, speech therapy, etc. I can elaborate further if you're interested!


yes please do, if you ever have the time, im very interested

 

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#20 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by RiverandJulie View Post

I just want to throw out another thought.  Our son was high needs, woke up every 3-4 hours and fell apart often throughout the day.

We discovered he had some food intolerances.  For us, cutting out gluten and lactose was key (I am not sure if lactose is even a problem, we cut them both out at the same time).  He also had toddler reflux, brought on by a stomach bug-he took a two week dose of prevacid for that.


Turns out his stomach hurt....a lot of the time. he did have random tantrums because he was in pain and other tantrums because he was tired because he couldnt sleep because of the pain.  ANd I am sure some tantrums because we were always tired and not being present with him.

 

Last night he slept 10 hrs straight, drank a bottle and slept another hour.

 

His whole attitude has been changing over the past few months (we cut gluten in mid-January).  He is a generally happy kid (18 months now) sleeps fine (not great, but good)  Our families and close friends have noticed and commented on it too.

 

ANyways, that was my experience, I want to put it out there with hopes that it will help others!

 

 


 

thank you much, I actually have eliminated all possible allergens early on after he was born we also went through a variety of soaps and laundry detergents, we brought dairy back in bc it didn't look like the culprit, but he is still not doing wheat and most grains, or sesame seeds.

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#21 of 21 Old 06-15-2011, 05:05 AM
 
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Hippiemom: I could have written your post. My son is such a wonderful, sweet, goofy kid....but if he had been born first, I NEVER would have talked DH into a second. My wonderful, sweet, independent, low key DD came first, though, so he agreed to a second and I'm so glad. I can't imagine my life without my son in it, but I swear some days I feel like, if a traveling circus or band of gypsies were to pass my house...I may jump out the back door and run away with them!! Haha, I know that's a terrible thing to say, but I'm telling you, I'm so fried and burnt out. I get it, I really and truly do.

 

What actually saves us, is my DD. She loves her brother so much and has this sweet, nurturing but no nonsense way of dealing with him that he really responds to. When I feel really burnt out and at the end of my rope, I just try to emulate her when I deal with him and it actually helps. She is not emotional, she is caring and sweet, but not frazzled and that energy really works to help calm him. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have DD.

 

Hang in there, mama, it won't always be like this for us. My son is 19 months and it's so discouraging sometimes, because things have become steadily worse with age as opposed to better, like all the other kids I see,,,but I know that when he starts to have better language skills it will at least FEEL better because I'll be able to talk to him.

 

I honestly don't have any suggestions really, I just last night posted in Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy about my breastfeeding problems with my son and got some really good ideas, go look at it, it's right at the top. I wish you luck, hang in, if you ever need support from someone who is going through exactly what you;re going through, PM me.


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