Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: birmingham, alabama
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We have accepted the fact that our DS (18 months) is 'not a good sleeper'. However, lately our sleepless nights have escalated - from night wakings every two hours to it taking sometimes three hours to getting him back down. We are at the point that we're all overtired and losing our patience. I am losing my patience. I feel that because of this constant lack of sleep (then one night, decent sleep), I am unable to stay cool and collected and be the mother I want to be day or night.
As an overview, DS has 'slept through the night' once, and on good nights, wakes up 2-3 times. We do not co-sleep. We have tried, it kept both DH and myself up (nightmares, fear of smothering, etc.) when he was an infant and now DS just plays when we are desperate and try to co-sleep again. DS and I napped together when he was little, which worked somewhat. Our problem first stemmed from not being able to transfer him from a sleeping state in-arms (he has always been nursed down) to his crib. Then it became better and now we are back to where we were a year ago for naps. They are not happening at all. He has never consistently napped for more than 30 minutes. As a result, his bedtime is early (between 5-6pm) which he is more than ready for at the end of the day and goes down fine. He sleeps off and on until 5-6am. This morning, however, it was 4 am. Argh.
I am currently a SAHM, we babywear, breastfeed and do everything with our DS. We live away from family, do not have a support network where we live, and hence, are coasting on fumes. Whenever we visit family (min. four hours away), it sets DS back if he has made any progress whatsoever in terms of sleep, which makes traveling the last thing we want to do. I have not left the house after his bedtime since he was born. I'm feeling trapped. Before becoming parents we traveled and explored places and now we feel like rigid monsters. But my DS needs his sleep. He needs the rhythm I constantly tweek to his needs. And that's ok, I know it is temporary, but is it?
I've read the lit. on CIO and while my heart is against it, I know we need something other than what we are currently living. It pains me to admit we tried it when he was younger and are teetering on it again. Please don't think I don't love my DS because I am desperate for my and my husband's need for sleep. I don't want to be a monster with DS because I don't have anything left from trying to soothe him and calmly hold him while he cries to play or watch the cars out of the window two hours into trying to get him back down in the middle of the night. I am so happy that he is so curious about this world that he wants to constantly be a part of it, but it is not healthy for our family. I am so worried about long-term damage of any kind to him. I don't know what to do. I love him so much. But I am so so so tired.
While I keep trying to convince myself that I need to stay strong for DS and be there for him until this night waking stage is over, I know that his sleep is progressively becoming worse every night as his lack of sleep accumulates. What is worse...I don't know. I sometimes feel I should be institutionalized because I can't make it through this anymore. Maybe I shouldn't have become a mother if I can't carry on in this state.
Does anyone else feel this way? Anybody had similar experiences and found a way out?
bf, cd, no circ, selective vax, attempting toddler ec'ing, kick off your shoes at the door while we trying to simplify our lives kinda family.