I am really desprete for any help with our situation. My sleep deprivation has reached a point where my physical and mental health are suffering, and I am not able to be the person and mom I want to be.
I have a four year old and two year old. The two year old sleeps in our room, until recently in our bed. She has always been a frequent waker - every 1-2 hours - since about 3 months of age. It got to the point where she was nursing nearly the entire night. She turned two in August and I got really serious about night weaning. It has been a painful struggle, but we are now consistent in not nursing from about 11pm to 5 am. It has been about two weeks now, and she is still waking up every 1-2 hours. Will this eventually stop, or am I doing something wrong?
I usually nurse her to sleep, or near sleep, and then put her in her crib. When she wakes up she will not stop crying until she is picked up and held. I did try back rubs and singing to her while she was still in her crib, but this has not worked. Generally I put her on my shoulder and walk her around the house. I also sing to her, and shoosh her, pat her back etc. it usually takes no more than 5 minutes to get her back to the crib. Sometimes she is asleep, sometimes awake when I put her back in the crib. As long as she is not crying or getting up I call it good and get back in my bed.
One issue is I am not a person who falls asleep easily. Even when exhausted I seem to lie awake at least 10-15 minutes before falling asleep.So, with getting up every 1-2 hours then struggling back to sleep, I am really getting very little rest. It is taking a serious toll. I find myself angry, emotional, and mentally incapable a lot of the time.
I am really struggling to figure out what if anything I am doing wrong. My older daughter was night weaned at 18 months, and started sleeping pretty much through the night.
I am not willing to do cio. I still listen to crying, but I don't ever leave her to cry, and just cannot even consider doing that. My husband does help when he can, but that dosen't cause her to wake up any less frequently. So, I am still awake as much, but just listening to my husband trying to get her back to sleep. My husband is also sleep deprived, and works long hours outside the home. For this reason I don't want him to completely take over, as it is a real worry to me that he might fall asleep at the wheel on his commute to work.
Thank you if you have bothered to read all this.
Any thoughts or advice are greatly appreciated!
I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Great job on not allowing CIO! Hopefully some of our more experienced users will have some suggestions.
breastfeeding baby-wearing bed-sharing herb growing/using no circ'ing Mama
6-25-200611.29.20087-6-201010-3-2012 craving #5 ALREADY
I have six kids, ranging from 11yo to 15mo. I have co-slept and nursed all but the last because she didn't want it (hard to believe, but true-she is the kind of baby "experts" write books about). For the rest, yes, they were frequent wakers, constantly attached to the breast, very loud, ruining our sleep...it was awful. I don't believe in CIO unless things get to the point where things are falling apart...feeling angry, emotional, incapable...
1. Little orange earplugs. My husband wears them so he can sleep through the noise. He works, I stay at home. He has a physically demanding job where one misstep could cost him his life. I don't. I can veg on the couch, drink endless pots of coffee, and let the house go to the dogs if I have a bad night. He still has to function. So he gets to sleep:)
2. Get her a twin-sized bed or mattress and get her out of your room. Go to her, settle her down in her own bed, and leave. Sleep with her there if you need to. It takes awhile, but she will figure out that her bed is her very own bed and she will eventually love it. My 3 1/2 yo still sneaks into my room at night and I walk him back to his bed, tuck him in, tell him to stop making all that noise, and get back into my own bed. Did I mention I'm 8 months pregnant? So yeah, no fun in hauling my belly out of bed at night...but at least I get five hours of uninterrupted sleep. It's been two or three months of this for me, but setting out the boundaries now is much better than later. 3yo would fuss and sometimes get me up five times! But with persistence, he figured out his place is in his bed. Last night, he came in and whispered that he needed me to come fix his blankets for him so he could go back to sleep. He woke me up, but he didn't hog my bed (happy sigh).
3. Some kids can't sleep because they are too close to us. This is the opposite of what we have learned about being a good, attached parent. But attachment parenting is all about knowing what makes your child tick. If she is constantly waking, maybe it is because she is too stimulated by your presence. My #6 is exactly that way. It felt SO WRONG to have her sleep all alone in her own room in a crib after she put herself to sleep. If I tried to hold her until she was sleeping, she would squirm and fuss until I put her down. Then she would roll over and go to sleep and sleep through the night...as an infant. Even now, she sleeps much better alone. If I'm feeling lazy and I let her fall asleep in my bed while I read, I have to move her to her crib. Otherwise she tosses and turns and hollers in her sleep and paws at me all night long.
You know your daughter better than anyone else in the world, so you know what kind of personality she has and what she needs...sometimes we just have to be creative, flexible, and try things that we normally wouldn't do...sometimes even sleep on the couch for a few weeks...or lock the bedroom door on a wandering 2yo who is just in the habit of crawling into bed with us (that was my #2)...or just give in and hold on until the current developmental milestone passes...or set firm boundaries for the kid who needs those boundaries set for them...there is no magic trick, just figuring it out and getting past it ;)
Thanks jtapc90ta and mumo6.
mum06 I appreciate all your experience and advice. She does already have her own twin bed. The trouble is it is in the same room as the four year old, and I just worry about waking her up. I think I will go ahead and try it tonight anyway. I really do hope that with consistency she will stop waking so much. It seemed much easier with my older daughter, but different personalities I guess.
Again, thanks so much!
I would also highlight to try at your most not to pick her up too much try to get her back asleep in her bed. Because if you keep lifting her up she knows that you give in if she continues crying.
Thanks everyone for input. We started her out last night in the room with her sister. She did fall asleep, but when she woke up she also woke her sister. So, I ended up putting her back in her crib. I am not sure if I am hallucinating or not, but it did seem like there were fewer wake ups last night.
JooAnna - she does still nap, and when I have tried cutting naps out she falls asleep at dinner time and then is up half the night. I have also tried shorter naps, but I of course have to wake her up and then she is cranky for hours afterwards.
I will keep working on it and report back if we have any breakthroughs.