Help w/my 2 yr old - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 10-13-2010, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, so has anyone here dealt w/a 2 year old who's nowhere near STTN? I need some help/advice/perspective/SOMETHING. I'm hitting a wall here. I want to do Dr. Jay's method again (we've tried several times and it hasn't stuck -- the last time being when DS was 15 months old and still in my bed), but it definitely involves a few nights of even less sleep for me, as well as some crying from DS. DH has to be at work really early, so I've not done anything to address the issue because I don't want to disturb DH's sleep.

Every night at about midnight DS wakes for the first time, and generally, I just go and lay down w/him and stay in his bed because the idea of shuffling back and forth between my room and his to deal w/his wakings is just too much. There's not a clock in DS's room, so I can't say for sure how long he sleeps at a stretch after I come in there, but he wakes me at least 3 or 4 times after that (sometimes more) so that he can latch on and nurse.

I know that it's biologically normal for a child not to STTN until they're 3 or 4, but I need to change things before then. DS is a really rough sleeper, and he tends to sleep ON me. My back simply can't take this anymore. I wake every morning wracked in pain, and recently my back went completely out due to this sleeping arrangement.

Any ideas?
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#2 of 9 Old 10-13-2010, 04:00 PM
 
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Oh Mama

Been there, doing that right now. My son starts the night in his own bed, and comes into our room between 1-2 am. He stands by my side, lifts up his arms and says, 'big bed Mama!!"

I nightweaned my toddler at 25 mos and it didn't really help. He still wakes up at night asking to "nurse please Mama" and it breaks my heart. But, I am standing firm because every time we back slide, the nursing becomes something he wants every hour.

He also wants to sleep on my chest and I have two herniated discs in my back and often wake in agony.

I would go back and really do the Gordon method first and foremost. It didn't help us much, but it did help a bit and you may have better luck. At least by no longer nursing at night I get some uninterrupted sleep from 10-1 or 2 am.

I offer water as an alternative and am usually violently shot down, but sometimes it does work and he goes back to sleep. Because he understands the concept of having a boo boo now I do talk to him about how Mama's back has a boo boo and he needs to sleep next to me. Usually framing it that way gets me some space.

We still co-sleep because I was simply turning into zombie-I was getting up and putting him back in his bed 4-5 times a night.

We also really worked at intoducing a lovey. It has helped when he is insistent about "want to sleep on chest Mama." I remind him about his lovey and Mama's boo boo and sometimes he is willing to sleep on that instead.

Typing this all out has made me realize that slowly I am seeing some improvement. We have horrible nights still, but there are some okay ones as well.

Good luck and I hope my disjointed post helps a bit.
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#3 of 9 Old 10-13-2010, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for sharing your experience. He's starting to get the concept of boo boo now. He doesn't have a lovey -- He falls asleep holding different things every night. Sometimes it's a car. Sometimes it's a stuffed animal. Sometimes it's a rock (my boy cracks me up!). But nothing consistent. Maybe I should try working on that.

Dr. Jay's method worked for us for short periods of time, but he'd start waking earlier and earlier, and I'd go back to nursing him just to get some sleep. But now I'm pretty much an all-night human pacifier, and I just can't take it anymore!
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#4 of 9 Old 10-13-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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Dr. Jay's method worked for us for short periods of time, but he'd start waking earlier and earlier, and I'd go back to nursing him just to get some sleep. But now I'm pretty much an all-night human pacifier, and I just can't take it anymore!
Have you ever heard about the extinction burst? A behavior or demand suddenly gets worse than ever and often times we give up and go back to the way things were. And that is why the last time I finally stood firm. I would back slide and he would only nurse at 3 am AT FIRST. Then it was 230 am AND midnight. Then it was 430, 300, and 2am AND midnight. And before you knew it I was right back to where I started.

We had two terrible nights after we finshed the Gordon method. The first he cried in his Daddy's arms for an hour and it was hard on us all. The next night he cried for 10 minutes. And the next night he was ok. As I said we still see some variations of need (that is what me and hubby call it) but it is better.
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#5 of 9 Old 10-13-2010, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I've never heard of the extinction burst, but what you've described is our situation to a tee. It was a gradual backslide until we were right back to nursing all night long. It's hard to stand firm when you're sleepy. But I guess if I want anything to change, I'm going to have to do just that.`
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#6 of 9 Old 10-15-2010, 10:35 PM
 
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No suggestions. My DS is an awful sleeper. Nightweaning did help us, but it was no miracle cure. I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone!

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#7 of 9 Old 10-26-2010, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Just wanted to update . . . So, we started nightweaning again on Thursday night. Basically, I nurse him to sleep and then nurse him the first time he wakes up (just to be sure he can make it through the night since he's used to eating all night long) and then not until morning. Thursday there was much crying. Friday not much. Saturday, none at all and no asking for nursing. Sunday night only one time did he ask for nursing. Last night, however, I think we were up ALL NIGHT LONG but he didn't nurse until morning. So, I'd say the weaning's going well, but he doesn't seem to be sleeping any better. I'm still in bed w/him all night, comforting him back to sleep. BUT I don't wake up wracked w/pain every morning since he's not sleeping on top of me. So it's an improvement. I hope that we'll see more improvement in the actual sleep front. But things are better for now.
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#8 of 9 Old 10-26-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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My DD is 3.5 and is a terrible sleeper!!! It is horrible and I am totally at the end of my rope with it. I did have her night weaned before DD2 was born (for a few months) and it really helped. She was only waking up once a night. My advice is to STICK WITH IT!! It may take a while before you see results. My friend night weaned her almost 2 year old recently and the improvement in sleep wasn't immediate, but it has been getting better and better.

Me: Shannon (33) mom to DD Everly born May 9, 2007 and Maisie born May 26
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#9 of 9 Old 11-01-2010, 01:28 AM
 
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If you find the solution let me know! My daughter is 2 1/2 and giving us a terrible time now. She wakes up fussing, kicks, tries to push me out of the bed etc; we have no idea what is going on. I'm wondering if she could be her 2 year old molars...have not yet taken her to a dentist yet so I'm not sure. I bought a sound machine, we'll see if that helps.
I just resign myself to the fact that she does not share her mama's talent for sleeping and realize that someday she will sleep better. Just not sure when that will be.
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