toddler sitting on my face, HELP - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-08-2012, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I have eighteen month old twin boys, as well as a 12 year old daughter and a 10 year old stepson.  I am still nursing both twins, both in the night and the day.


One twin, we will call him M, has never been a great sleeper.  We have two king sized beds in our bedroom, and with various arrangements of Mama, Dada, M and E, that has worked somewhat for us.  Over time, a few times, M has woken up in the night and taken a long time to go back to sleep, but lately it has been happening more often, and it happened both of the last few nights.  Up at 11, down at 3.  Up at 10:30, down at 2.  I spend part of his awake time trying to sleep, but he crawls on me, kicks me, and he especially likes to sit on my face and bounce up and down.  He nurses for part of the time, but doesn't fall asleep.  I am so tired (even on a good night I get woken up to nurse from 3 to 6 times) as a baseline that this is pushing me to the edge. 


We have white noise on in the room.  His diaper is fine.  his jammies are cozy.  He has a lovey tht he loves. 


I usually bounce him on an exercise ball to fall asleep at bedtime (for naps he falls asleep at the breast) and in the night he falls asleep on the ball, but as soon as I get him to the bed, he wakes up and tries to sit on my face again.  I am so tired I fall asleep on the ball.


My stepson has special needs, he has sensory integration dysfunction and emotional issues, and he is disturbed by loud noises.  He is a sweetie when he is managed well, but one of the essential pieces of his management is a good night's sleep.  At this point I would let M "cry-it-out," but there is no place to do that where he won't wake everyone up and make Dada's day at work exhausting, and disturb all the other kids, especially big brother.  Also, if M cries enough, it gets E going and then nobody gets to sleep, ever.


Why is he waking up? Why won't he go back to sleep?  Help, my sanity is crumbling.  I get so exhausted that I get angry, and that is not like me, and it scares me.


Help, please.

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#2 of 6 Old 01-08-2012, 06:20 PM
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Well, I don't really have any suggestions but I did laugh out loud when I read your title. My 16 mo does the same thing! 


He got 2 molars last week and is popping out 2 more this week so his sleep (which has also never been great) has gotten much worse. He wakes for 1-2 hours each night now, wanting to nurse non-stop, fussing, crying, and flopping around. When he's done getting his nursing in the middle of the night, I unhook him and he flops around, preferably on top of my head, until he finds the perfect spot and falls asleep. And then I move him so I can sleep for 1-2 hours. 


With one, I can kinda handle it. Twins? Wow, hats off to you! What we do now to make things better: DH sleeps in a different room so DS has enough room to flop. If DS doesn't fall asleep with nursing, I know he needs me to walk him. Sometimes he NEEDS to flop to get to sleep. 


Is your DS teething? Once my DS's 2 molars are out (by the end of this week I hope!), I'm going to night wean him. Sad, but it's getting a bit much and we're TTC so I don't want to have to deal with him every couple hours all night long while having morning sickness!!


Have you looked into Dr. Jay Gorden's night weaning plan?


I really have no good advice, sorry! I keep thinking about the teenage years and how DS will sleep until noon one day. ;)

Me: lady.gif Sarah, married to: geek.gif J, mommy to: happytears.gif C (8/10) and rolleyes.gif E (11/12)

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#3 of 6 Old 01-08-2012, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by matumama View Post
... and he especially likes to sit on my face and bounce up and down...

...I usually bounce him on an exercise ball to fall asleep at bedtime ...

Hmm... is there a connection?  wink1.gif

maybe not, but it is a little funny.  


Not that your situation is funny - my heart really goes out to you.  I wish I had good advice.  We're dealing with going to sleep issues right now too.  The one thing that does make the biggest difference for us in terms of overall good sleep nights is the daytime nap.  If DD doesn't get a good on-schedule nap during the day we can count on having a TERRIBLE night.  Getting to sleep too late makes for problems too.  It's very counter-intuitive, but if babies are over-tired they don't sleep well.

Work at home, homesteading mom sharing child care 50/50 with my wonderful WAH DH. DD1 born Jan. 2010.   March '12.   DD2 & DD3 (twins) born Feb. 2013
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#4 of 6 Old 01-22-2012, 03:58 PM
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I have no solution but my toddler does this too (and I don't bounce her to sleep). The scary thing is that she has been doing it since she was 9 months old and she is still doing it at 20 months old. Its not every night, but maybe 4 times a month.

Karrie ~ Mom to two queens. Victoria, 4 and Charlotte May 14, 2010.
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#5 of 6 Old 01-22-2012, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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An update: Two breakthroughs. 


My stepson is a bouncy hyper guy, and he loves getting all riled up with the babies.  Lately he has been enjoying sneaking up on them and surprising them.  At first he would scream or shriek (for a kid that can't handle other people or machines making loud noises he sure can make some noise) but I had him stop that.  He kept on surprising them though.  He was hiding around corners and popping out at them, and then sometimes laughing, sometimes tickling them, sometimes hugging them. 


I think what was happening was that M was getting a constant dose of adrenaline all day when big brother was around.  The terrible sleep nights were on the weekend when big brother is around the most.  We have been having him tone it down and stop surprising the babies entirely, and sleep has gotten better. 


He still riles them up, and I am having trouble finding a balance between letting him play with them the wa he wants (LOTS of tickling, chasing, grabbing, etc.) and keeping him away from them.  They love and idolize him, but they also are wary of him.  I am not a big fan of tickling anyway and I find it especially troubling for people who are too young to say stop. A little is ok and funny, but big brother is an intense guy and isn't good at self-regulation OR being criticized. (Even in the gentlest way)


Anyway, maybe that's material for another thread.


An interesting thing is that even when I let him do a little surprising early in the day and made him stop later, the sleep was still disturbed.  I am very curious about the effects of adrenaline on sleep, in general and in children.

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#6 of 6 Old 01-22-2012, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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There I went, sending that reply before going off to nurse a baby back to sleep and not posting the other little breakthrough.


This one is sort of cute.


It was the middle of the night, around three thirty and M had been squirming and climbing and sitting on my head for some time.  I finally growled "Mama's tired! I want to sleep! Get off my head!" and pushed him off.  I tried to snuggle him (this never works, he doesn't want to spoon, he only wants the boob.) and when he squirmed around to tr to climb up on my head again I said "<sigh> Do you want me to bounce you on the ball?" and he (for the first time ever of his own accord) gave me a kiss.  Out of the bed I got and onto the ball. <3

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