DD is 3 year old and has always been a difficult sleeper. We tried for several months to get her in her own bed for the whole night, and she only slept through the night about 5 times. It's not unusual for her to be awake for an hour or two every night.
In the two months before my second child was born, we realized DD would sleep through the night most nights if she just slept in our bed, so we started her in her own room but then I would carry her into bed with me when I was ready for bed.
So DS was born a week ago, and now all four of us are sleeping together. DS sleeps like a champ, but DD is up for HOURS every night...in the past four nights, she slept through the night one night, and the other nights was up from 1-7am, 330-630am, and 330-7am. She'll wake up and I'll cuddle with her to try to get her back to sleep, but since it takes an hour or two inevitably DS will wake up at some point and then she'll want to see him and I have to nurse him and try to get him back to sleep. DD will not cuddle with DH in the middle fo the night, it has to be me. Then DD will be even more awake and take hours to fall asleep.
DH works night shift 5 nights a week and goes back to work in a week so then I'll be alone with both kids in the middle of the night...I really don't know how I am going to do this! For the past few nights DH has taken DD after 2-3 hours and they'll go in the sitting room and play until she's ready to go back to sleep.
Please help me with some ideas about how I can get through the next few weeks/months and actually get some sleep. I realize a lot of DD's waking up is likely a reaction to the new baby and will hopefully subside, but I don't know what to do in the meantime.
Loving wife to DH and mama to DD (11/08) and DS (2/12)
This was us 6 months ago when DS was born....so, for starters, it will get better. My DH also works nights, and DD (2 1/2 then, 3 now) was waking 4-6 times a night for a while and needing intense cuddling to go back to sleep. Not to mention bedtime with both of them by myself....Some days we were up from 3:30 in the morning. DD also no longer naps, and the few times I tried to re-instate them were disastrous. I was a walking zombie, but somehow it all did work out, even at the time. And now, DD is back to sleeping through the night most nights...and DS is teething :(
Some of the things that worked for us: I would lay on my back and put one arm around DD, so that I could keep up with DS also when he was bitty- each one got one arm. I'd nurse him with one arm around her. Doing a sacral rock for DD sometimes helped her get back to sleep in the middle of the night. She lays on her tummy and I put one hand on her low back/butt and rock her whole body side to side. I also did some imagery, warm colored light that travels through her body and helps each part of her body fall asleep. At some point she accepted cuddling into my back and going back to sleep that way.
Making sure DD gets enough exercise is crucial, which, of course, is really easy when you can barely keep your eyes open. On my most tired days, we would play red light green light in the house, with her running circles around the couch. Most days, I tried to get her to the park.
As far as making it through now, though, do what you need to do to catch a nap here and there. When DH got home from work in the morning, in the early days, I took an hour of sleep while he watched both little ones, and then he went to sleep for the day. If need be, I put a video in for DD so I could nap when DS would take a nap. Go to bed as early as you can.
Congratulations on your new little one! Hoping for an easy transition to lots of sleep for you. Or, at least, enough sleep :)
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