This is probably just a normal phase for toddlers but I am feeling so at the end of my rope. Baby #2 is due in 6 weeks and I am 1. terrified that she will also be a poor sleeper and 2. not sure how on earth I am going to get DD1 to sleep while taking care of a new baby. I am so frustrated and starting to panic. I know that some people are dealing with much harder issues so I don't mean to sound like a whiner. I really struggle with being patient in this area (which is kind of odd because I am a terrible sleeper myself and was as child too).
DD started fighting sleep when she was 6 weeks old. For months and months we had to rock or walk her to sleep while swaddled with a blanket over her in a dark room with white noise. Around 13 months we got to a place that we could lay her down after some rocking and just sit in the room until she fell asleep. Eventually we could lay her down, leave and she would go to sleep. (Can I tell you how magical that was?) This lasted for a few months. The weird part is that was when we had a lot of change going on. We moved from CO to NV. We lived with my ILs for a while, then in another house and then finally moved into our own house. Five or six weeks AFTER we were in our house is when it started getting bad again. She started fighting us at bedtime again and also started waking about 6 times a night. So now she is 22 months and most of the time is only waking 0-2 times a night most of the time (yea!). It's the getting her to sleep that is making us nuts! Some of the normal things just DON'T work for her.
- Co-sleeping: Just thinks it's play time since she was about 4months old. She just won't settle down. We do co-sleep if she seems to need it like when she is teething or sick but she does better with space the rest of the time.
- Snuggling: Again, she just thinks it's playtime. DH is better about being patient with this than I am but after an hour and a half one tends to get burnt out.
- Nursing: She just keeps wiggling. It's even worse if I try to nurse her in side-lying. She just keeps pushing off the bed to rotate her body. This might work if I nursed her for an hour but I am pregnant and that hurts way too much. It's actually new for her to even want to nurse at bedtime. When she was a baby she would refuse to nurse at bedtime because she knew it would make her sleepy.
So even though she is showing clear signs of being tired she will just keep trying to play and wiggle to keep herself awake. I want to be gentle and help her to sleep but none of the ways I know seem to work. Also, it feels like a step back because she WAS going to sleep on her own happily for months. This is really hard for me cause I feel like we worked hard to work with DD in her time and be gentle. We've tried massage before bed too.
So we brush teeth, nurse and she usually wants DH to lay her down. He snuggles her for a minute, prayer, kisses and lays her down. Then, whenever she cries we go in and lay her back down. The hard part is that she is so random with this AND the second she hears the knob turn she is all smiles, she's not really upset. I feel like she is being manipulative when I see that but I don't want to have that negative attitude about her. Sometimes it's 30 seconds later, sometimes it's 15 minutes. Sometimes she will need us to come in once and then there are times like tonight when it is 5+ times and an hour and a half after bedtime she starts calling out again.
I feel awful/sad/angry/lost. We've run the range from going in and saying nothing (just laying her down) to firmly telling her it's bedtime and yes, I've lost it a few times too.
I WANT to be gentle and HELP her but I feel like none of the ways to do that work. I am totally at a loss and feel like a horrid mom because honestly, sometimes I do let her cry for a while because I feel like that is better than me going in and yelling at her and i need sometimes to get my emotions in check.
Sorry, I feel like this is rambling but I am SO SO frustrated.