I am a stay at home mom to two girls- a 2 1/2 year old and an almost 10 month old. Sleep is starting to become an issue and I don't know what to do. Daytime sleep is currently my biggest problem. Until recently, my 10 month old would happily take her morning nap in the ergo and I could so whatever I was doing with my toddler. For the afternoon nap, I lay with the baby in bed and my toddler sleeps in her crib. Now my baby is not falling asleep readily in the carrier. It takes over an hour of rocking and walking to get her to sleep, and during that time my poor toddler has to play on her own, which some days works and some ends with her crying, so then I have 2 crying kids and the baby doesn't sleep. The baby is 21 lbs and I am very petite, so it is hard for me to do everything I need to do for my toddler with her in the ergo. In short, this situation which worked for so long, is no longer working and I just don't know what to do. The baby can't sleep without me. I try to get her calm and do the routine, but if I put her in a crib to nap she screams. So I pick her up and put her back in the ergo. This bouncing/sleep routine takes up a lot of the morning and it is unfair to my toddler. On top of that, I go to bed with the baby at 7 so I have no time alone the entire day or night to clean. My house is a mess, my life is out of balance, my baby is overtired, and my toddler needs me. I need my 10 month old to at least nap on her own once a day. I am at a loss for how to accomplish this. I am struggling. Any suggestions, advice, encouragement, anything, would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!
It's so hard having two babies at different stages, isn't it? Hugs to you. It sounds like your baby might be changing her nap schedule. Maybe she is transitioning to one nap a day. I would try doing something active with both kids during the morning to get her nice and tired- even a trip to the library is stimulating and tiring for a baby. She may fall asleep in the car on the way home- will she stay asleep if carried from car to bed? Or if she is awake but tired from the morning's activities, you may have an easier time getting her to sleep on her own.
My kids are 2.5 years apart. I was hardly ever able to get the baby to nap at home while the toddler was around. I was sometimes able to do it if I put audio books on for the toddler.
I often used to just plan to drive somewhere around nap time. The baby would fall asleep, then I'd drive back home and hopefully transfer her. Sometimes I'd park at our destination, let her nap in the back seat while I read books to DS, then when we woke up we'd all go where we're going.
Whatever you decide to try, definitely see if you can change up your routine. Pacing around with a large baby in the ergo while the toddler gets more and more frustrated and bored is just too miserable to continue- I know, I've been there!
Oh, do you have a good LLL group in your area? I've gotten great sleep advice from my local group. And at the very least, you can get some in-person sympathy from moms who have been through (or are going through) the same thing.
SAHM to 6.5yo DS and 4yo DD. PCOS with two early m/cs. Married 8 yrs. Certified birth doula, writer, editor.
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I agree with seeing if a single nap won't help things. We cut out 2nd naps fairly early, and they were exhausted by 6pm, but it got us through the day.
My girls are 21 months apart. The lack of sleep I experienced then was tortuous. DD2 was hard to get to sleep, dd1 didn't want her to go to sleep and would try whacking her over the head. The combination lead to us dropping regular naps entirely at 15 months. I actually felt less tired because when I was expecting a nap and never getting enough sleep, I would be frustrated. But when I was simply tired, I felt a tiny bit better.
Hang in there! You are at one of the hardest stages right now.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
Thank you all so much for your responses. It has been a tough day :). I think we are all kind of reaching a breaking point over here, and something has to change. My 2 year old can not be left alone for any length of time, so I can't get upstairs to put the baby down without her (and she is very loud so she can't come), but I think I will try changing the routine and instead of getting stressed without a morning nap, just see what happens. As it gets nicer out, maybe we could go for a walk at naptime and my toddler can walk with my while my baby sleeps in a stroller? She hasn't been in a stroller in a long time, but she loves sleeping in the car so maybe if we drover to the park and she fell asleep in the car, I could just click her carseat into the stroller and start walking. She gets very fussy without her nap so I'm not sure she is ready to give it up, but it is very realistic to think that in a couple months that may work. Until then I think I just need to let go of expectations and go with it. Which is not me. At all. But I am learning! My kids are making me better, that is for sure. Thank you, mamas. I REALLY needed some support today.