I have a 14 mos old DD who has a very bubbly, yet demanding personality. I co-sleep with her and my 3 1/2 year old DS, and I am 3 months pregnant. I am a firm believer of AP, but I am at a loss. She has been a wonderful sleeper up until 10 months old, and now for months has been very difficult at night and barely naps. During the day she cries or whines often if I am not holding her. Now at night for the past month she fusses, cries at night b/c she wants to lay on top of me or nurse. It is getting too difficult for me to allow her to lay on top of me b/c of my pregnancy and I am trying not to nurse her throughout the night anymore to help me sleep a little better and prepare her for the arrival of the new baby that will be nursing all night:)
Well, my issue is that she is very dramatic and screams bloody murder at night for only a minute or two at a time, but on and off throughout the night. My husband and I are exhausted and just don't know what to do anymore! She isn't crying b/c she is hungry, in pain, scared etc....just b/c she is angry that she woke up, or that I try to snuggle her, instead of hold her like she wants. I was holding her through much of the night, but was barely sleeping and she would cry even more if I would try to lay her down.
Does anyone have any similar experieces or can give me any advice that has worked for them? I am desperate to have her sleep soundly through most of the night.
Thank you so much in advance!
AP, stay at home Mama (31) to DS 4/09, DD 11/11, DD 8/13 and wonderful DH (31) and my 1/11 who grew wings at 9w 3d
i dunno...i think i would keep trying to lay her down and if she fusses..let her fuss a bit but be there and tell her she's okay and that you love her and rub her belly or back. sometimes it takes a few day for behavior to change but you have to be consistent. when i stopped standing near the shower to put my son down for night time(he had to fall asleep on my shoulder and my back ached) i stressed so bad ahead of time because i knew he would put up a fight. well, he did for about 4 nights and then amazingly he was okay just going straight to bed with me talking and rubbing.and it's been 5 months now.
I agree with implementing a transition, with lots of reassurance, and letting her know what needs to change. At 14m she understands when you repeat gently "shhh it's time to sleep" and this can help with an association you can use anytime she wakes up. You can also explain before going to bed that she can't sleep on top of you but that you are there right next to her, etc. Maybe she also would respond to "mama's here" to reassure her when she wants to get closer, but you want her to lie down or something else, you know her best.
Have you read The No Cry Sleep Solution? She gives lots of gentle ideas for how to change night-time habits, and encourages respecting the baby while working on your needs being met. I highly recommend this book, it helps so much to have hope that things can change so everyone can sleep better, and that there are lots of different ways to improve sleep so you can pick an approach you're comfortable with. My baby didn't sleep all night until 10m, and we still co-sleep at 17m, and whenever there's a disturbance in the sleep/waking patterns (jetlag, illness) she has responded really well to some gentle shifts, often inspired by Pantley, and goes back to sleeping all night usually within a few days.
It sounds like you might also need to prepare yourself for how to deal with and lessen her feeling replaced/displaced by the new baby, especially since she's still nursing and wanting to be so close to you all night. I only have one child so I haven't looked too much into this, but I've heard lots of great things about the book Siblings Without Rivalry.
Hope this helps - Good luck getting some sleep!