At my breaking point. Need some words of encouragement. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 03-30-2010, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so at my breaking point. My dd's (10 months) night sleep is actually not too bad. It's getting her to sleep that is killing me. Rocking leads to screaming and flailing. Nursing leads to her pulling off and looking all around. Sometimes I think she's just not tired or overtired or I don't know what. I just can't deal with it anymore. My dh works long hours and travels a lot and is not emotionally supportive when he is here. I just put both my 10 month old and my 5 year old in their room (they share a room) and told them to go to sleep. The baby is crying and I just don't have the energy to do anything about it. I'm upset that I didn't get to do my bedtime routine with my 5 y.o. dd (reading, massage, lying down together). I'm upset that I can't peacefully get my 10 month old to sleep. I just don't know what to do. I am somewhat depressed and am tired of trying to always do the right thing when it is always so hard. I just don't have the energy for it anymore, but when I "give out" like this I feel even worse like I have failed. I just had to vent. I know many of you have been in my shoes before. Thank you for listening.
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#2 of 8 Old 03-30-2010, 10:27 PM
 
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Have you tried moving bedtime earlier, and/or later to see if it is a matter of her being overtired or not tired enough?

How is her napping?

What about lying down next to her in a dark room until she falls asleep. You could nurse while lying with her, rub her back, or (if she's like my ds) just let her hold your hair (what is it with babies and hair anyway, lol?).

And even if your dh works a lot he is still a parent too, and IMO should step up and help with the bedtime parenting (when he's there). If he put your youngest to sleep then that would free you to do your 5 yr old's bedtime routine (or vice versa).

Another thought - is it possible that the presence of your older dc is a distraction? What if you put dd to sleep in your bed, but then moved her into her own bed later once she's in a deep sleep.

Good luck mama! I know how frustrating it can be when bedtime doesn't go smoothly. I find it even harder to deal with difficulties at that time of day because I've been working hard all day (SAHM) and by then I'm pretty drained (and ready to veg out on MDC, lol!).

Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#3 of 8 Old 03-30-2010, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Kate, thank you for the ideas. When dh is home, bedtime goes fine. the problem is that he is usually not home for bedtime 3 nights a week. Then it is a total debacle! My younger dd settles right down for my dh (literally within 5 minutes of rocking) and then he can lay her down and she will stay asleep or resettle herself with minimal crying. For me, it takes at least 15-30 minutes of being carried in the ergo, and then when I lay her down she cries and I pick her up and nurse her and try to lay her down again. Sometimes more crying then. I found that if I nurse her until she is totally alseep she does not sleep soundly at all. Meanwhile in this 45 minute+ routine, I am totally ignoring my 5 y.o. and shushing her and I am sure she is feeling bad about the whole thing.

I will try lying down with her on a mattress and rubbing her back, etc. Even when doing that I feel bad because my older dd is antsy and needing attention and you are right, the baby is probably distracted by her.

Ugh!!! I sometimes look at my friends who are more mainstream parents and just feel angry that they have it so easy with the sleep thing.

Thank you again for your advice! I really appreciate it.
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#4 of 8 Old 03-30-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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I hear you about the difficulties of putting 2 kiddos down to sleep without a partner there to help. My dh works nights too (as a musician) and like yours is gone a lot of the time.

What I do with my dc is to do the bedtime routine all together - bath, pjs, tooth brushing, and then stories on dd (older sister)'s bed. Then I let ds play on her floor for a few mins while I do my nighttime cuddles and kisses and last few words with her. Then I take ds (younger brother) into his room and lie down with him to get him to sleep. Would some variation of this work for you?

Oh yeah, I also let dd look at books for a little bit before she falls asleep (while I'm putting ds to bed) so that kind of keeps her occupied so she's less likely to call out for me or otherwise inadvertently keep her brother from falling asleep.

Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#5 of 8 Old 03-31-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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It is SO much harder to do the right thing, I hear you. and 2 at bedtime is a challenge...I have a 2.5 year old girl and 7 month old boy, and for the first few months of his life, I didn't have help at night either. I'd put my boy to sleep and then do the same shhh-ing routine as you, while trying to get him back to sleep every 45 minutes. I felt terribly guilty for silencing my daughter...so finally I gave up with an early bedtime for him, and just give him a nap at 6 or so, to keep him awake later than her. Now I usually have help at night, but when I don't, I do the reading, quiet time with my girl while my son is in the beco carrier, which relaxes him (sometimes he needs 30 minutes in there before being able to fall asleep nursing). I feel better having given her the attention she's used to, and she seems happy to have her life as she knew it before ds. Or if he is still up for playing he can play on the floor. then i deal with him once she is asleep.

I highly recommend wearing the baby around the house for a while before trying to get them to sleep; you can do other things and not pay attention to the fact that the nighttime routine is taking an hour. hang in there!!
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#6 of 8 Old 03-31-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2e View Post
When dh is home, bedtime goes fine. the problem is that he is usually not home for bedtime 3 nights a week. Then it is a total debacle! My younger dd settles right down for my dh (literally within 5 minutes of rocking) and then he can lay her down and she will stay asleep or resettle herself with minimal crying. For me, it takes at least 15-30 minutes of being carried in the ergo, and then when I lay her down she cries and I pick her up and nurse her and try to lay her down again. Sometimes more crying then.

Just wanted to commiserate about this... DS (4 months old) is usually pretty good about going down at night. DH does playing, bath, PJs before bed, then I nurse and rock him and lay him down. When he wakes up (usually 1-2 times in the first two hours) DH can go up and settle him and he goes right back to sleep. DH is out if town right now, and I cannot for the life of me get the bedtime routine to go smoothly. When I try to soothe him, he wakes up fully and will not settle - what takes DH five minutes takes me 40. This happened last month when he was out of town, too, so I don't think it's a coincidence. It's frustrating - I'm the momma, goshdarnit! I should be able to do this!
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#7 of 8 Old 03-31-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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DS is also 10 mo and we sometimes have simliar problems. Just lately I have noticed that his day sleep really effects how easily he goes down at night. He needs at least about 2 hours of naptime (one in am and one in pm) and he need about 4.5-5 hours between the last nap and bedtime. When all this has been perfect (ha!), he goes down easily (usually nurses to sleep). Sometimes the naps don't work or he's up too late or whatever and then it's a struggle--but if you are able to try some regular naps, it might help.
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#8 of 8 Old 04-01-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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I would definitely suggest tinkering with her naps a bit if you haven't already tried that. We went through some difficult phases when she went from 3 naps to 2, and then from 2 to 1.

thalia loves Jesus and DH wordyeight and DD#1 : 8/2007 and DD#2 9/2010
and remembering: little turtle 5/23/2006 and poppyseed 7/15/2009
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