Desperate. My sweet boy is crying alone in his room right now. *Update* Everything is even worse... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 82 Old 12-10-2008, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I have been trying for over two hours to get my son to sleep. He is crying, tantruming, screaming, crawling out of bed, and just not sleepy at all. He normally goes down to sleep at around 7:30 or so, and I have been trying to night wean for the past couple of weeks.

Tonight I nursed him down, sang lullabies, and his eyes were closed, his breathing was regular, and I laid there for 10 minutes or so after I was POSITIVE he was asleep. As soon as I got up, he popped up and started asking for more nursing and lullabies. I nursed him down one more time, and again, he popped up as soon as I got up out of bed. At that point, I said, "No more nay-nay's, time for sleep" and I laid back down with him while he fussed himself nearly to sleep. He then laid there silently with his eyes wide open for a half hour or so and I finally said, "Mama needs to go downstairs, you will be ok, I will be up later". He freaked out, so I laid back down with him again.

This went on and on and on and on, and now I am absolutely at the end of my rope. I got 1.5 hours of sleep last night TOTAL because of fighting with him over nursing. I average about 2-4 hours of sleep a night when he is nursing non-stop at night and it HAS to end. I am not a good mama lately. I yell, I push him away, I can't stand the thought of nursing him at all. I don't want to wean, he is not ready, and I don't want to boot him from my bed.

I just came downstairs because he was crawling out of bed over and over and over again while screaming for water. I gave him a sippy of water, which he just wants to hold. I don't want a wet bed, so I took it away. I don't know what to do. I am exhausted, he is crying alone, and I am feeling like the worst mama on the planet.

I am headed back up there now to see if I can try to get him back down, but I am starting to truly believe that he does not need to sleep more than 4 hours or so out of each 24 hour period.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#2 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 12:27 AM
 
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i have no advice, but you aren't alone. And you aren't a bad mother, just a tired one!

---feeling like an emu on acid---
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#3 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 12:37 AM
 
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get a sippy cup that doesnt leak

the nuk ones are pretty good and bpa free

what you are describing is why i never tried to nightwean. it just sounds like hes not ready if you are spending hours doing this.

is there any way you can stop having bedtime ubtil he gets used to not nursing.
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#4 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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I know a LC that has a plan for nightweaning help but it includes someone else to do the co-sleeping piece for a few nights.

What you would do is not nurse your son to sleep. You would tell him that he can nurse when the sun is up (if your goal is to night wean). Then have DP or another very close relative lay with him until he is asleep. When he wakes and wants you, he is comforted by whomever fell asleep with him. You do this for a couple of nights (2-3) and then you gradually add yourself back to the sleep routine with no nursing.


I have never personally done this, but this is what she tells mamas who want to nightwean to do and it has worked. You have to add another form of comforting because that is what he is looking for.

All the best!

Take care,
Jen

Jen, mama to  (M-13, N- 10, C- 8 rainbow1284.gif J- 3.5, and rainbow1284.gifJ -2, angel3.gifA (10/4/07) and 3 early losses)
We are expecting baby #7 in November 2013

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#5 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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Mine is about the same age as yours, and he recently started to need less sleep. I have started joining him for his naps when we are home.
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#6 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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Im sorry your having a bad night. Have you tried a bath that really helps my nonsleeper. Is there a DP who could give you a much needed break? Hang in there we all have feeling like this sometimes.

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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#7 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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Doesn't sound like much improvement.

I hope things look up soon.

-Angela
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#8 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 12:47 AM
 
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When we night-weaned our dd (not including nursing to bed, we still do that), my dh took over as nighttime parent. He even began to cosleep with her in another room, because if I was anywhere near her, she'd scream for me.

It worked really well, and dh still cosleeps with her. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, she says "dadda?" to make sure he's there.

Night weaning gave me back the sleep I so desperately needed, but I could not have done it without my dh.

Have you thought about nightweaning, but still nurse him to sleep? When he wakes up in the middle of the night, don't nurse him, but allow him to actually get to sleep with breastfeeding.
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#9 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 01:14 AM
 
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/hug

My little man is refusing sleep. In fact, I'm a horrible mother because I let him cry earlier, and now I'm horrible for one hand typing and letting him be awake snuggled on my lap at 11 PM.

But here's my thinking - if either way I'm horrible, I choose the part with less screaming and pain.

Mama to EG, Mate to MD, Writer, Editor, International Jewel Thief.
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#10 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 01:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Writerbird View Post
/hug

My little man is refusing sleep. In fact, I'm a horrible mother because I let him cry earlier, and now I'm horrible for one hand typing and letting him be awake snuggled on my lap at 11 PM.

But here's my thinking - if either way I'm horrible, I choose the part with less screaming and pain.

What would be horrible about "letting" him be awake if he's happy?

-Angela
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#11 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 11:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
What would be horrible about "letting" him be awake if he's happy?

-Angela
I was out of my head with exhaustion and not typing clearly

Even the most pig headed and self confident person can get beaten down by endless "shouldas" from the universe. My son "should" go to bed at 8 or earlier. My son "should" sleep through the night. My son "should" go without nursing all night (since he weighed ten pounds, according to one doctor).

A few weeks ago my little dude got the hang of crawling forward and cut a tooth at the same time, and his sleep "schedule" - down around 11 every night, waking once for milk, down until 9 AM, two two-hour naps every day like clockwork - went to hell. He started napping for 30 minutes at his normal bedtime, but would stay awake until 1, crying and squirming. Then up every 90 minutes for nursing, and if denied, wild screaming. Then awake at 8 AM and no going back to sleep. Then fighting naps until so exhausted that he'd just fall over.

The cumulative effect has been brutal. And I have tried everything from Hylands to lavender oil to white noise to walking to wearing to rocking to singing to Tylenol. My eating hasn't changed, his hasn't changed, our routines hadn't changed. And everyone I asked for help second guessed me ("once you've put him down you can't take him back downstairs no matter how mad he gets - he's manipulating you") or told me to let him CIO (and without going into details, I have concluded that my son doesn't have the temperament where that would ever work).

So last night I snapped. I figured those "everyones" would think I was horrible no matter what path I chose, and so now we try bedtime, and if he wakes up, he comes and sits on our laps until we go to bed. I'm back to my normal self and certainty that *I* am doing the right thing for *my* son, and everyone else can suck it. Also, last night he fell asleep at midnight, woke up once for milk, and just now woke up for the day, so... victory, I guess?

Sorry for the length -

Mama to EG, Mate to MD, Writer, Editor, International Jewel Thief.
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#12 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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Hang in there mama.

-Angela
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#13 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 12:01 PM
 
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I agree. I don't think he is ready to nightwean.

That being said, I disagree with a previous poster. My son is 2.5 and still nurses to sleep, even though he is nightweaned. When I first started nightweaning, I tried Jay Gordon's method, which included nursing him to sleep as normal. I had to stop the nightweaning a few times beacuse DS wasn't ready or was sick. This time has been successful, but he still doesn't always sleep through the night. That's just how he is. And only recently has he been able to understand and accept that I will not always nurse him to sleep, but will always nurse him right before sleep. And, I have to wait until he's in the "limp arm" sleep stage before I leave the room, or he too will pop up.
I think your son is too young to understand what's going on, and too young to be ok with it.

All this being said, my DS was not cosleeping when I tried nightweaning (he moved into his own bed at about 18 mos).

I think you should stop trying. Do what is easiest. I would actually consider moving him into his own bed (even if it's in the same room, or a sidecarred crib) before I would try nightweaning, given this reaction.

Also try white noise and darkness. And maybe for a few nights you should just go to sleep with him, to try to get some more rest.

HTH
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#14 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 12:02 PM
 
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I just got a product called "Calms Forte" and it is working wonders on my LO's. Get some and start giving it to him either disolved in a sippy or just by mouth an hour before sleep. See if it works.

Its made by hylands, (teething tablets) and its a homeopathic.
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#15 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 12:05 PM
 
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Adding - my dc who was nursed to sleep until late toddlerhood has the worst sleep habits of all my kids. :
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#16 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 12:24 PM
 
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He's probably too young for night-weaning, and if it's causing all these problems, is it really worth it?

That being said, if he's waking up that often at night, you can certainly try other methods of getting him back to sleep other than nursing, but if they don't work, or if he freaks out, nurse. Also check whether he's wet. It might also just be a stage, they sometimes get very disrupted in their sleep when going through developmental milestones. That's probably about the most unfortunate time to try night-weaning!

As for getting him to sleep, have you tried wearing him down? When DD has been at her crankiest -- as in, not just happily being awake when we'd rather she was sleeping, but being miserable, obviously tired, and screaming -- I would just wrap her on my back and go about the housework. She'd usually settle within 5 minutes, then within 15 minutes to an hour, she'd be fast asleep. DH would do this too, put her in his pouch sling and do some housework. Or when the weather was warm, we'd go for a walk with her in the sling.

We've had to accept, though, that her sleep schedule is not "ideal" lol... she usually goes to sleep anywhere from 9 until midnight, and wakes up between 9-10am. She's happy like this, so why fight it?

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#17 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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I can't help you with the how-to night-wean stuff if you're set on doing that. But I can tell you that I know how you feel. Being tired & exhausted is no fun. With my ds I found out early on that he was just not going to sleep without me and I was not going to feel ok with crying etc....I came to terms with the fact that I had to do this for my son, even though I was tired/exhausted/working etc. By about 10months we put a queen mattress on his floor in his room and he and I slept/nursed there until he was 3 years old. He did not sleep through the night until 2.5 years and I was ok with that - i just learned to not tell anyone like in-laws etc so I didn't get any unwanted sleeping advice.

Now with my dd, after 6mo of co-sleeping with Mum & Dad we put the queen mattress on the floor in her room and I'm sleeping/nursing most of the nights with her in her room. No drama! So much easier this time around because we knew what to do, what worked for us.

Good luck! Oh by the way....I am now addicted to coffee though!!
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#18 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 01:01 PM
 
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It doesn't sound like night weaning is the problem from your original post, it sounds like getting him to sleep is the problem. Can you change it up a bit and have DH put him down for a few nights?

Give yourself a break mama. You are doing your best and I have been there with the 2 hour battle to sleep.

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#19 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 01:09 PM
 
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I Feel your pain mommy! I hope everyone gets the sleep they need very soon. You are not a terrible mom. Hang in there.

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#20 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I completely agree that he is not ready for night weaning, but the non-stop nurse fest every single night is killing me. I average 2-4 hours of sleep when he is nursing throughout the night, and I don't know anyone who can function and be a good parent on that little sleep.

I am out of my mind exhausted most days, and I don't have a partner, or even a relative or friend who could come put him to bed for a few nights. I HAVE to figure this out on my own. There just are no other options.

I feel like after a week and a half of trying to night wean, and a week of no nursing at night at all, he should be making some progress, but he isn't at all. He is worse if anything. I am trying to nap with him, but that literally means never leaving my house. If we go anywhere in the car, he naps in the car and then doesn't nap at home. I think he may be getting ready to give up his nap entirely, which might help at night, but I am seriously doubting it at this point.

I just don't know what to do anymore. I have been sleep deprived for nearly two years (over two if you count pregnancy induced insomnia). I am ready to run away from him screaming. I don't understand how such a little guy could require so little sleep. I have come to hate our bedroom and my bed. I hate bedtime, and everything to do with sleep. I have insane insomnia on the rare night that he sleeps well, so I can't even catch up then.

Last night when I went back up after letting him cry for about 10 minutes, he took another hour at least to finally fall asleep. He did pretty well for the rest of the night, and we slept in until 8:30 this morning, but now I am terrified that sleeping in will mess up his schedule tonight.

There just doesn't seem to be any info out there that I can find on kids who JUST.WILL.NOT.SLEEP. I wish there were a way to fix this. I am so at the end of my rope.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#21 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 02:39 PM
 
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Kim,



Have you tried a pacifier or perhaps a bottle of water or something? I dont remember if you mentioned it.

Also, definatly get the calms forte. Put it in the bottle if you decide to take it to bed with you. Maybe he is thirsty?

Love you you mama. Your sleep is way more important than the idealistic nursing relationship. It is ok to let go of those things when you are not taking care of yourself. If you dont take care of yourself, you are right, you can not be the best mom you want to be.

:
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#22 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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Hi PumpkinPie! I also have a baby who just doesn't sleep. He's 7 months old now, and even in the hospital the day of his birth he wouldn't sleep. Until he was about 3 months old the only way we could get him to sleep was by breastfeeding, or carrying him around in the baby sling. I now refuse to breastfeed to sleep, because it turned in to an awful affair, with him not actually being hungry and so feeding just a couple of sips every 5 minutes for hours on end. Now it takes me atleast an hour and a half of lying beside him in our bed shhhing him, while he screams and screams, and rips at his hair, and practices crawling, and then gets happy and hypo and then screams again and I swear the neighbours think I am killing him. You would have to see it to believe it, but it's awful awful. He'll only ever sleep 30 minutes, and I have to shh him and try to get him back to sleep, which hardly ever works. Then I have a grumpy boy within half an hour of being up and I can't put him down or do anything but carry him. And then it's back to bed again. I also dread the thought of sleep, of nap time, of anything associated with his sleep. It is soooo stressful it is unbelievable. And there's no break, no recovery time, because when he's awake he just wants to be with me and is grizzly grizzly grizzly. We're tried homepathic medicines, feeding more solids, foot reflexology, craniosacral therapy. We've been to doctors and midwives and "mutterberatung" (literal translation, mother advice). And no one can help. They just say let him cry it out. Besides being against it, there's no way it would ever work that I can see, if he cries for hours with me there with him, he's going to cry even more when his Ama has abandoned him! So anyway, this is just a post to say I really feel for you, but I'm also kind of relieved that there is someone else battling with me. Like you, I can't find any information about babies that just won't sleep. Good luck!
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#23 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 03:52 PM
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Have you tried a later bedtime or letting him go to bed when you do? My DD has a restless night if she notices I'm not in bed with her. It's as if she keeps waking up to make sure I'm still in bed. If I need to get up after she goes to sleep I go to her as soon as she starts to wake and get her back to sleep before she wakes completely up.
Your DS could be getting ready to give up his nap too. We had crazy nights with two hours getting to sleep and sometimes staying awake till 2am right before my DD gave hers up at 27 months. Some nights she falls asleep so fast, she needs to nurse again about an hour later, but then sleeps really sound.
I don't have any advice for night weaning (we still haven't and DD is 3). She did stop most of her night nursing, sleeping for a solid 8 hours stretch after her last teeth came in.
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#24 of 82 Old 12-11-2008, 05:19 PM
 
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I'm sorry it's so hard, and you have to cope with it all on your own! For the not going to sleep, I don't know if this would apply in your situation, but I would backup for a few days and go into observer/following your LO's lead mode to see if something has shifted... Does LO need to go to bed earlier or later than before, need or not need a nap... I would probably scratch the nightweaning at least as you've been doing it, for a few days, too, in case that has your LO too stressed to sleep. Could you go into "emergency" mode at home for a few days, nap with LO, stay as peaceful as possible to conserve energy for the evenings? Take care of yourself as much as possible...

Even if you don't completely nightwean, perhaps you could think of small step toward more independent falling asleep that you could encourage your LO to take. Like just removing the nipple a little sooner when LO is nodding off can sometimes make a big difference in their ability to stay calm and self-sooth when they move towards awakeness in between sleep cycles...

*** DH (wed 5/03), DD (6/07), and DS (8/11)
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#25 of 82 Old 12-12-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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just wanted to check in and see how things are going? Hope you guys are having some peaceful nights!

Jess  SAHM to Daniel  (09/07) and Samuel  (06/10)and Katie Lee (11/11) we're with #4 edd 4/15 Wifey to my "geek" : David  for 14 yrs. ( 4/09 @ 19 weeks).
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#26 of 82 Old 12-12-2008, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night, he went to bed at around 8pm. He fell asleep nursing on my lap downstairs in the living room. I was so afraid he would wake up, that I took him upstairs and didn't even change his dipe or put his pajamas on. I just left him in his play clothes and changed him this morning. He actually slept from 8pm to 6:30am without waking up! I have no idea what was different. He had a mini nap a little late in the day, but he has had short naps before, so I am not sure what happened.

Today, he went to a preschool from 8am-1:30pm and then we ran some errands on the way home, played on the floor, had dinner, and then went outside and ran around in the snow for about an hour. He was so tired by the time he came in, he could barely stand up. He conked out at about 6:45, and is so soundly asleep, I would be surprised if he wakes up for at least a few hours. I am so hoping he is down for the entire night again. I don't know if this is the beginning of a phase of sleeping better or not, but I pray to God it is! I can't believe how rested I felt after getting about 7 hours last night.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#27 of 82 Old 12-13-2008, 05:08 AM
 
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fantastic! i hope tonight goes just as well :
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#28 of 82 Old 12-13-2008, 05:51 AM
 
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1. Are you sure he is really tired when at bedtime? I find that we parents often assume that because our child has always needed to go to bed at a certain time in the past, he must still be tired at that time now. Is it possible that he naps enough in the day and needs to go to bed later? Or maybe he can drop the nap (rare at his age but my mom says that I dropped all naps at the age of 12 months).

2. Is it possible that he is overtired by the time he gets into bed and he needs to go to bed earlier?

3. Do you have a systematic bedtime routine?

4. This does not work for every child, but when my daughter started resisting going to bed at about age 2, I bought her a CD player and some CDs. Now at her bedtime, she just listens to soft children's music and she is asleep within minutes. The CDs really were a miracle for us because before she would just keep getting out of bed and/or asking us to lay down with her until she fell asleep and she would be up for hours even though she was tired.

Good luck!

Roman Goddess, mom to J (August 2004) and J (April 2009).    h20homebirth.gif signcirc1.gif
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#29 of 82 Old 12-13-2008, 12:22 PM
 
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PP,

I feel so much for you! Can you put out a call for help in your area of Finding Your Tribe? Someone to come watch your babe at your house while you nap? Someone special who can devote a few nights to heling you nightwean maybe? Just someone you can call on the phone when your feeling crazy?

I agree with the PP's. Tire him out. Get him lots of fresh air play. Move back his bedtime to when he's tired, some babes sleep at 7p, some at 11p. Sleep with him with a bra and sweatshirt on, I couldn't nightwean till my daughter couldn't smell the milk on me and couldn't just roll over and help herself. (It's like when you're in bed and a little munchy, your too lazy to get out of bed and go to the kitchen for a snack so you just go back to sleep till breakfast BUT if there was a cheescake there in bed with you you'd sure eat it, LOL

Let go of what the neighbors think or what the books say or what you think is the Right way to do it. You do whatever makes you and babe happy and gets you both some sleep! There's momma's on here who let their babes stay up with them till midnight and everybody sleeps in till 10A together. You do what works for You!

We're there with ya in spirit Momma, hang in there. I know it seems endless and horrible. But, I have a 16 yr old son who was a sleeper like this, I'd give anything to hold him like that again, even with the screaming, <smile>.

TK
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#30 of 82 Old 12-13-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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Hope things continue along this much better path!

Sarahknit.gifmarried to Kylehopmad.gif Mama to Orion  bouncy.gif08/07 and introducing Alice! babygirl.gif 02/11
DCP to 1 busy munchkin! and a CRST too!
 
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