We've been struggling with DD's sleep forever it seems, the last month has been particularly bad. We've returned back to Europe and so had some issues with jet lag, then there was teething, a non-stop series of colds, some separation anxiety and transition issues, and we're of course back to full-time daycare. DD had 2-3 weeks where she would wake up in the night and be up for hours, up to four hours at a time. It's been exhausting. My issue is finding coping strategies with her - ways of effectively settling her to sleep without too many tears - and for me - trying to control an increasingly short temper as I try to deal with very broken sleep and full-time work.
DD is in her own room, in her own crib, but often sleeps with us at least part of the night. She doesn't cosleep full time because she's one of those very independent babies who likes her space and often settles better in her own bed. I nurse her to sleep and back to sleep during the night.
What typically happens now is that when she wakes up around 4-5am to nurse, she will have a hard time settling back to sleep and will often be up for 1-2 hours before catching another hour of sleep before she has to be up for daycare. I'll nurse her, rub her back, try cuddling with her, try setting her in our bed, then her bed, sometimes dh will take over. I'll often lose it after 1-1.5 hours and will unceremoniously plunk her back in her own bed, shut the door, and try to ignore her cries (which never works), then rescue her, and she'll finally fall asleep just from sheer exhaustion and I'll wallow in wretched guilt from losing my cool.
So - anyone ever been in a similar situation? Any peaceful solutions? Or any tips on how to keep cool until this rough sleep pattern passes? (will it pass??)
welcome to mothering. com! yes I'm sure it will pass. we are going thru it right now too. for us i think it is because my DD is just learning to walk and that is just so much for her brain to wrap itself around. she finally got a pretty decent hold on walking a few days ago and sleep is rapidly getting better ever since.
is your DD walking yet? I'm guessing it is just all the changes, be as consistent as you can with how you deal with her in the middle of the night, whatever that way is and I'm my limited experience, that smoothes things out the fastest.
the other thing is sleep begets sleet, do you know how she is sleeping in daycare? maybe she is sleep deprived before the night even starts and that can certainly make it hard to stay asleep, as crazy backwards as that sounds. also what time are you putting her down?
So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!
I hear you on the jet lag pains! DD had an awful couple of weeks after we went to Europe last year also, I was so much more exhausted than I ever was from my own jet lag. Interestingly shortly after this we also had a period when DD would be up at 3-4 am for two or so hours at a time. She didn't want to eat, be rocked, or anything, she just wanted to bounce around - ugh.
Have you read the No Cry Sleep Solution? I don't think it's a miracle cure (nothing is!) but I found that it gave me some tips and things to work on with DD to help her sleep better. One of the things that I think really helped her is getting her to fall asleep in her crib. I do a few things to help her fall asleep like sing a certain lullaby and pat her back a particular way, so I would put DD in her crib when she was really sleepy and just do those there rather than in my arms. It took quite a few times cause at first she would bounce right up when I put her down and either cry or get all active, but now I can re-settle her at night sometimes without picking her up (unless she is hungry or I took to long to get to her and she got too upset).
DD is usually down between 7:30 and 8pm (about as early as we can get her down once she's home from daycare). And she doesn't sleep well at daycare - 1.5 hours usually max in one nap around noon. It can be such a vicious cycle, with her getting too tired during the day then not sleeping at night, then the next day have a crappy nap. But she's never been a great sleeper...
I have the no-cry sleep solution, I should probably take another look at it. She used to go down sometimes with me patting her back, but lately has just been freaking out so I've been just nursing her right to sleep. I might just start changing my approach at bedtime though, maybe that will help.
She's just started pulling herself up on furniture, so could be developmental too. Probably just a mix of everything. It's just really wearing us down right now, I can deal with nighttime wakings but being up 3-4 hours every night trying to put her back to sleep for the last four weeks has taken its toll on all of us. We're longing for that miracle cure, but just can't seem to find the right trick.