HELP!! 12mo won't sleep unless she CIO!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 59 Old 07-22-2004, 03:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Help!!

I have a 12mo (turning one on Friday!), and recently she has gotten into some terrible sleep issues. She is starting to walk and stand more now, and say more words... a lot of brain development probably going on now... and she is so jazzed up at bedtime/naptime that no matter what I do, she will NOT SLEEP unless I actually leave her alone to cry. I never did this with her in her life, and I don't want to do it... and believe me I HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL OTHER OPTIONS. Usually when she CIO, she is so completely fried and overtired, and I have nursed her and held her and rocked her so many times already... sometimes she has nursed and lay next to me "talking" for over an hour, and I am very patient about it, when she tries to start standing up and rolling over I gently put her back down on the bed and say "It's bedtime". I let her nurse to sleep as I always have, but now she is often less interested in that... I think this is part of the problem. She sort of still likes comfort nursing but now that she's into solids and walking, exploring etc, she is less gung ho about hunkering down for a feed.

I am very overstimulated also by the presence of a loved one. I think she is overstimulated by my presence... rather than sleeping she wants to talk to me, play, do tricks, be awake with me! At times she just goes to sleep peacefully if after her nap/bed ritual, I just put her in her crib and give her her stuffed bunny and leave. At least, she used to be cool with that. Now she WAILS... it's not a cute sad little wail or a lonely wail or a scared wail, it's just MAD and TIRED and temper tantrumy. I don't want her to CIO, and I want to understand and meet her needs, but she is no longer at the age where she is just a wee babe... she is old enough to be manipulative when she doesn't understand what she wants. When it's bedtime it's bedtime, and I know that she really needs sleep more than anything else when she gets like that (and within a few minutes of CIO she usually just literally falls down in the crib and falls asleep wherever she drops!)

It's also further confused by the fact that my dh and I have slightly different perspectives on the situation. He thinks it's okay for her to CIO... however, in the middle of the night or when he's also sleeping, if she makes a lot of noise he gets very irritable and just wants her to stop, and isn't always rational... but I've told him that if he doesn't like it, it's his child too so he can either deal with it or go sleep on the couch (I said it nicer than that ) since we both work outside the home and need our sleep, and I get up for the night feedings. Like once he got really annoyed when I was trying to nurse her to sleep, and on one hand he was like "You're spoiling her" and the other, "Get her to be quiet"!!!

She is SO TIRED sometimes when she finally gives into the battle that she actually at times, has HELD OPEN HER EYES with her fingers so they won't close.... ... she has a seriously stubborn streak and these days, she is so wild at bedtime that all I want is just to find a way for her mind to slow down and let her relax. She has inherited my character in so many ways and this is no exception... look at me, it's almost 2 am and I have to get up tomorrow... I'm a bad girl too... :

any ideas? I feel like a heel letting her just fall asleep falling over after exhausting herself crying in the room alone, but I am at my wits' end, and my very presence seems to stimulate her too much!

BD
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#2 of 59 Old 07-22-2004, 07:51 AM
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Yikes, that must be very hard on all of you. It really sounds like you don't want to do this and that it is painful for you - just so it doesnt come off like you're doing CIO in the same way that many 'mainstream' moms do . I really don't know what to tell you. I mean, if that is the only way she'll go to sleep then perhaps that is what's best for her? It doesn't seem to me like you're forcing her to sleep train or anything. And get your hubby to read Dr. Sears' baby book so he can get some perspective on the silly 'spoiling' issue . Maybe someone else will ahve better advice for you.
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#3 of 59 Old 07-22-2004, 11:11 AM
 
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It sounds like you're doing all you can to avaoid CIO. And I think "angry crying" is a lot different from scared/sad/abandoned crying, so I wouldn't worry too much.

Your DD sounds a little like my 14-month-old DS.
He wants to walk, crawl, play, etc.
Just when he seems like he's going to fall asleep nursing, he pops up and starts walking away, etc. Then I lay him in the crib and he hugs his "Ducky" and rolls around. Then he pops up again and wants to walk, etc, etc, etc.
Some nights, I just grab him and bounce him vigorously in my arms (I kind of jog while cradling him). He looks up at me and does this "moaning" type thing while I bounce him. Eventually, his eyes start to roll and the moaning stops. After a few minutes, he's asleep and I lay him in the crib.
It seems like he wants to keep playing, but eventually, he's just too tired. He doesn't know what he wants, but sometimes seems receptive to the bouncing.

Hang in there.
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#4 of 59 Old 07-22-2004, 11:59 AM
 
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Is it possible that YOUR idea of her bedtime is not reasonable? The playing, babbling etc tells me your baby is not ready to go to sleep. How'd you like it if someone told you that you had to go to sleep when you were wide awake?

What if you just play with her, etc. until she is obviously tired - yawning, etc...and then start your bedtime routine. Might make life alot easier for all of you.

PS - good for you for telling your husband off!

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#5 of 59 Old 07-22-2004, 01:02 PM
 
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er, my babies would be up ALL NIGHT if i encouraged it (last night, dd- almost 18 & with a friend, relax- took them on a walk with the double stroller and was out from 8:30 till 10:30! they were happily bopping along & i still had to nurse them to sleep.) i am a night owl & they definately got that from me; unfortunately, they are also early birds & at the crack of dawn, i am not so thrilled if i had to *start* kitchen cleanup at 11 pm. if bobo says her baby wants, needs sleep but is fighting it, i believe her.

i'm sorry you & your dh are not on the same page. that always makes it tougher.

i don't have any immediate solutions, but mine learned to chill out in his crib from wakeful playful to drowsiness (and believe me, i know how maddening it is to have a baby determined to play at 2 am) while i spent time in their room, finding make-work like tidying drawers & toybox & hanging clothes, etc, while singing gently & letting him know i was there for him. no, folding clothes is not sleep, but hanging out like this with him i think transitioned him from not being able to fall asleep anywhere but my breast, to being able to fall asleep on his own (not alone, as his brother is a few feet away, & i am 10 ft away across the hall.) oh, & i had the crib in my room for a long time before moving them to their room.

the more you can make it gradual, i think the less trauma for everyone and it eventually gets you where you are going without the trauma of cio. (i'm afraid cio would be more trauma for me than them, i am like dr sears & have a v low threashhold of tolerance for a baby's cry. i don't know how people do it- not you, bobo, i can hear you're speaking from desperation, but the people who plan it out & calmly do it with tiny babies, esp.)

good luck, i hope you don't get flambe'd, i think it's obvious you are seeking solutions other than cio but are at your wit's end.

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#6 of 59 Old 07-22-2004, 03:16 PM
 
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Oh, mama, I'm so with you. I used to be able to nurse dd (16 months) down, but lately it just doesn't happen. She nurses & nurses & nurses, and after a while starts getting more & more active (well, sometimes she starts quietly then starts kicking, switching sides, etc., and sometimes she's active from the beginning, which is almost better b/c I can tell just to try again later). I try to do a pre-bed routine, and I can tell that she knows that after bath comes diaper, saying good night to daddy, pull down shades, book, light, nurse, and bed--but she just doesn't get sleepy! Last night a friend was over w/ her 15 mo from 6:30-7, and he was so obviously tired & just wanted to go to bed, and Clara was bouncing all over the place.

Last week I started trying a new routine--we nurse in the rocker, and after a while we move to the bed (she used to fall asleep in the rocker but I think she's gotten big enough that she can't really get relaxed & comfortable there anymore). After nursing a bit in bed (20 min-1/2 hour), if she's still awake and stops I'll kiss her, pull my shirt down, roll over, and tell her mama's going to sleep. I'm not crazy about this method--I feel like it's CIO except worse, b/c I'm there and denying her something she wants. I'm not sure whether it's working or not--the last few nights she's gotten really upset for a few min. but then started playing by herself. AARGH! Last night she did finally go to sleep on her own, but it took her a LONG time. For the last month or 2 it's been 9 or later by the time she goes to sleep. And then I get to get up, clean up the toys, the bath supplies, put in some laundry, run the dishes, iron my clothes for the next day...

It seems like some babies have very obvious "off" switches, and ours just don't. I keep thinking there's something else I can be doing to wear her down, and I just don't know what it is! We'll read a book but often I can barely get through it b/c she knows that when the book is done she gets to nurse.

Also, like yours, my dd just started walking & also seems to be having a big language explosion right now. So maybe that's part of it? And I don't know what it's like where you are, but right now it's light here until 9 pm. I'm hoping that things will get better as the nights lengthen...

Let me know if you get anything figured out. I used to think I wanted another baby--still do, but :, I can't imagine it right now!
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#7 of 59 Old 07-22-2004, 04:16 PM
 
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For the first year of her life, Emily went to sleep at around 11 pm. If I had tried to get her down earlier, it would have been a waste of time, but when she was ready, she went down rather easily. That's why I suggested what I did: for some reason, people seem to think that babies are supposed to go to bed early - I got lots of shocked looks from people when I told them when Emily usually fell alseep. But then, she also rarely woke before 8:30 or 9 am, so she was getting a good sleep, and it worked well for me b/c I am not a morning person.

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#8 of 59 Old 07-22-2004, 04:25 PM
 
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Hmm, Piglet, that might be worth a shot.

It'd be nice to watch a movie w/ DH every so often, though! OTOH, we could occasionally have a babysitter w/o worrying about messing up bedtime.

My concern, though, is that since I have to get up at 7, and she doesn't usually sleep much after I get up, she won't get enough sleep. Maybe I'll run it by dh as an idea, though. Maybe I'm just too tied to the early bed. After all, that's what all the books say...

Although from what I can tell about the OP's situation, her child is really tired (using her fingers to keep her eyes from closing?) and just won't letdown...
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#9 of 59 Old 07-22-2004, 10:44 PM
 
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My ds had the same problem (still does but not quite so bad). He stopped napping at about 4 months old unless I put him in the stroller and pushed him back and forth in the living room for 1/2-1 hour every single time. Around 18 months, or maybe a bit earlier, even though he was very tired, he would try to wander around, crawl all over me and generally goof off when I took him for a nap(finally weaned off the stroller around 1 year) or bed. So, I did something I absolutely hated but worked very well.

I held him still on me for a couple of minutes. It always made him cry because he hates to be restrained, but I think he's just so full of energy that he couldn't stop himself. I would hold him until his cry sounded a certain way (impossible to describe), usually a max of 5 minutes, lay him next to me and nurse him and he would be fast asleep in another 5 minutes or less. I felt like the most awful mother in the world for making my little one cry. I know he needed the sleep more than he needed me to do anything to avoid making him cry and I truely believe that restraint of some kind was the only way he was going to be able to stop keeping himself active to avoid sleep. I wish I could have found another way, but that was all I had at the time and I still can't think of what else I could have done.

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#10 of 59 Old 07-22-2004, 11:49 PM
 
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my dd started a similar sleep problems just after her first birthday a year ago. she had previously nursed, been laid in her crib, fallen asleep easily (sometimes she'd whimper, but usually she liked being put down to go to sleep -- we learned that the hard way!), and come to bed with us whenever she woke up in the night.

after her 1st bday everything changed. she flipped out when we put her in her crib. she'd tantrum and scream. sometimes it would take 2 or more hours to get her to fall asleep. insane! so, we started lying down with her to sleep on a mattress on the floor in her room. the first few nights it took a long time and she wanted to play or chatter on about something. but whoever was lying down with her would tell her they were "sleeping" and didn't want to play. eventually she got the picture, would lie down and drift off to sleep.

about moving her bedtime later...i know a couple kids dd's age who go to bed late (10 or 11pm) and they sleep until 9am or so. we tried that with dd. she still woke at 6am and we had a very cranky baby on our hands!

since then, a year later, she's settled into a usually predictable pattern. we lie down with her to sleep, she has even been sleeping all night long more often than not, and she wakes between 7am and 8am. it's a nice routine and i often fall asleep in her room when i'm putting her to bed.
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#11 of 59 Old 07-23-2004, 12:59 AM
 
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Sounds like your little tootsie is getting overtired which never seems conducive to sleep. Try nudging bedtime back in 15 minute increments--maybe if you catch her before she's beyond tired, she may have an easier sleep journey. When Elliott (now an amazing 5.5 years) was little, he really needed his own space to go to sleep--cosleeping was too stimulating for him. Whether he slept in our bed or in a crib, he still needed some solo time to collect himself before dropping off; sometimes he'd cry a little (a minute or two) before sleeping, but it wasn't the "I NEED YOU" cry, instead it sounded like stress relief, he just had a lot of stuff going on in his head, and bedtime gave him the solitude he needed to review it (sounds funny in an infant, but it definitely seemed to be the case). I never left him crying--if he was distressed about bedtime, I stayed, but if he got in to bed happily and then cried a little, I'd give him a minute or two, and go back if it was in his best interest (it was definitely in my best interest to go back in--I hate to hear him cry). Anyway, just my two cents--try tinkering with the bedtime schedule, and then make a decision about your dd's need to cry. Maybe it's not stressful for her at all, but rather, like Elliott, she finds crying a nice stress reliever.

Happy sleep journeys to you both mama...
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#12 of 59 Old 07-23-2004, 01:04 AM
 
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good point, wemberly, about the stress relief. like i said in my previous post, dd used to whine or cry a bit when we put her down to sleep, and she preferred to be put in her crib to sleep, and she cried harder if we picked her up. even now, with me lying beside her at night, she'll talk and talk and sing and sing. not playing or putting off sleep, she's processing her day. the fussing was likely the same thing. i wish i'd had someone point that out to me a year ago.
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#13 of 59 Old 07-24-2004, 12:44 AM
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My DD does this sometimes... especially when she has spent more time with her daddy than me (I work at home and sometimes outside my home). We never know until we've done her routine and she is still awake... so we keep the lights dim and let her play with her toys and bounce away all that energy in the bouncer while we eat dinner. Then I join her wherever she is playing until she starts to get fussy and rub her eyes. I take her to our chair and try to nurse her to sleep- sometimes she is ready, sometimes not.

Often she will not be ready for hours... usually I am exhausted, so I have taken to barracading her on the bed with me (pillows and guard rail) and let her throw herself around and burn off the energy and i can lay down and relax. Then she will snuggle against me when she is ready and nurse to sleep.

I agree with Piglet that maybe she is just not ready for bed. We have a daily routine that rarely changes, but we always try to follow her cues first instead of sticknig to routine for its own sake.

Another thought it looking at her naptimes. Is she napping too many hours during the day? Is the last nap too close to bedtime? We recently had to adjust naps to fit my DD's ability to stay awake longer and needing less sleep. She was staying up late and now she is back to her normal bedtime.
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#14 of 59 Old 07-24-2004, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi everyone,

I'm back... dd has been too stimulated lately by typing sound while she sleeps, so I haven't been able to go online for a few days (plus it was her bday yesterday!).

I am glad no one thinks I am an evil mom and that I am not alone in what I'm doing. I really never practiced CIO with her. My dh and I don't have the same opinions about some aspects of childrearing, but luckily for me, in his culture it's the woman's right (and duty too, on the other hand) to decide how to rear the children, so all he can really do is comment and then back off and let me handle it as I see best. And eventually he sees the point of why I do most things, so it's more of a little spat than a real chasm of conflict. Certainly he is pleased with the results overall!

I think my dd is just very very energetic and curious. BTW, Piglet, she IS definitely tired (beyond tired) by the time she goes to bed. Dh and I joke that her degree of fatigue can be detected almost scientifically by the decibel level of her scream before finally dropping to sleep, and also the louder and more desperately she screams, the quicker she drops off asleep. I think it's true that sometimes older children, especially, do need solo time to just collect their wits and such, and that sometimes it involves crying... they THINK they need you because they think they need you for everything and that you are a part of them, etc... but at times, I think this is the beginning of their finding their own independence. It is very different from a 2 month old baby crying out of loneliness or real physical needs, etc. My dd unfortunately has inherited my overstimulability. Sometimes I truly need to leave her alone in order to let her find her sleep. If I stay there she sees it as a cue to stay up and interact, and will fight sleep tooth and nail.

Usually the problem is worse at nap time when it's light out. She goes to bed usually between 7 and 8, on some nights later because dh sometimes drives her to my job to pick me up when I get out at 8 or 9:30 pm... it takes him 20 minutes to drive there but over an hour with public transport so it is a big help, and it is good to reconnect with her after work if she isn't fast asleep already. I don't put her to bed earlier, even though she gets tired around 6 ish at times, because I don't want her to wake up any earlier than she does, and I don't want to lose any more time I have with her after my work schedule. Also it doesn't make sense to have such totally different bedtimes on nights she picks me up or doesn't, so I settled on 8 as a good compromise time for a mom working 4 nites/wk. Night time is usually all right, although sometimes she wakes up often.

I am starting to wonder also if I've painted myself into a corner by making her dependent on nursing to fall asleep (at least with me... she doesn't do it with dh or at day care). I always thought it was nice and something I could give to her out of love, and I never minded it... it was a time for me too, to relax and have no other duties except lying around being with my baby. But now that she gets older, even though I have no immediate plans to wean my 12mo, I don't want to nurse her past 2 yrs old (that will already be stretching my dh's conception of what is normal in his culture... which is ironically one of the cultures that inspired the AP and babywearing movements.) I love nursing her but I am just physically getting tired from it... no one really talks about how much it takes out of your body, nutrient wise... plus I really miss being able to have a full lunch break without pumping all day, I miss not having to count out my life in 3 hour stretches and dealing with boob fullness, I miss wearing one piece dresses, I miss being able to go on cleanses and watch my weight occasionally without worrying about my milk... all in all, I like nursing her, but I cannot see it going on forever.

Anyways, that is off this topic, there is probably another thread for that, but it's sort of part of the issue... she still gets up every few hrs at night, and I have just learned to deal with the lack of uninterrupted sleep. And I don't know if I will ever be able to train her to fall asleep without nursing, or if some magic day will come when she's just ready.

I think also that moms like Wemberly, KNOW when their baby is crying out of a real urgent need for you to come in, or when they are just letting off steam (at least in older babies). This is something my dh doesn't really understand. It's not like a rule book or a certain length of time, its' intuition. Sometimes she cries a certain way and I know she is telling me she just pooped, or fell and bumped her head on the crib rail (ow )... and so I come in. Other times I can sense she is just being a drama queen and just needs to learn to... oh I hate to use this term but in her case it is sometimes true!... "use her own resources". At 12months, a baby is still a baby, but they need to begin learning to distinguish shades of need and want and whim. By constantly attending to every whim as if it were an urgent need, I'm setting her up to be a slave to her fancies and lower nature. I know this doesn't have to be taught with force, but like everything in life, soemtimes the desires are so strong that you just have to back off and let them learn for themselves what works and what doesn't. It's part of the "couple" relationship of parent and child... you have needs too, like the parent who fakes sleep so the child will eventually get bored and realize you aren't available to play. That's to me, an honest and authentic response, not a punishment. To do other than that when you are truly exhausted and it's not the appropriate wake-up time for them, is teaching them that they are the boss and you are there to serve all their whims, which isn't true about parents and children, nor is it true about adults in relation to the larger world. Besides I've done that too (the fake sleeping thing but it's hard because she will crawl off the bed if I don't watch out.

Thanks all for your responses. Interesting thread...

BD
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#15 of 59 Old 07-24-2004, 05:32 PM
 
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a little ot, but there are great nursing dresses at http://www.milknwildhoney.com/

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#16 of 59 Old 07-25-2004, 07:16 PM
 
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Have you tried upping her bedtime a little bit? When dd used to get overtired she would react in a similar way and it was actually harder to get her to go to sleep. Nursing her to sleep a little earlier helped a lot.
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#17 of 59 Old 07-25-2004, 09:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
For the first year of her life, Emily went to sleep at around 11 pm. If I had tried to get her down earlier, it would have been a waste of time, but when she was ready, she went down rather easily. That's why I suggested what I did: for some reason, people seem to think that babies are supposed to go to bed early - I got lots of shocked looks from people when I told them when Emily usually fell alseep. But then, she also rarely woke before 8:30 or 9 am, so she was getting a good sleep, and it worked well for me b/c I am not a morning person.
same here! Amber used to fall asleep between 10pm and 11pm until she was about 2yrs old. Now she falls asleep by 8pm no problems.
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#18 of 59 Old 07-26-2004, 01:52 AM
 
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Wow, I thought I was the only one who was dealing with this and feeling the same about it! Our dd has always co-slept and at about age 1 we started slowly putting her in the crib in the beginning of the night for safety reasons since she would crawl right off the bed in her sleep!
Now, I just cannot let her CIO.. it is probably way worse on me than her, but I did finally discover that I had to let her get tired, had to stick to a bedtime routine AND give her space.
Now we just lay on the couch together and I "talk" to her about my day while she plays with my hair and drifts off to sleep. Often, she will fuss and try to get up, but if I gently lay her down and remind her that its bedtime and that we are talking, she usally ends up sound asleep within 15 minutes or less.
Of course.. STAYING asleep is a whoel different ballgame. I haven't more than 4 hours of sleep at a time since she was born. Its like a very bad science experiment
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#19 of 59 Old 07-26-2004, 10:11 AM
 
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With us my dd won't go to sleep with me. She is wanting to play when I try to put her down. For some reason she wants DH to put her to sleep. I can't even be in the same room as them or else she won't go to sleep. I think she just wants her daddy alone time with him at night since he is gone during the day.
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#20 of 59 Old 07-26-2004, 12:41 PM
 
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Bobo;
First, thanks for the thread--we've been having lots of bedtime problems recently, and this thread has helped me realize that we're not the only ones w/ a night owl! I babysat a friend's 15 mo this wkd, and he fell asleep in the crib at about 7:15--upset b/c mama wasn't there, but wow, when he's tired he just drapes himself on you & begs for sleep. A far cry from my bundle of energy, who stayed up until 10 that night...

Anyway, re: nursing, etc. When DD was about a year I stopped pumping--I'd been weaning down until then. It really helped me--I felt like I finally could lead a normal workday w/o worrying about where I would be at 11 & 3! It's okay to stop pumping, you know...and the best part (well, a good side-effect) is that now I can wear the occasional silk blouse w/o worrying about getting little drops of milk on it.

I still haven't started wearing one-piece dresses, though.

Oh, and if you look at my pp's about saying night-night and rolling over, it seems to be working! YAY! It still can take her 10-15 min of fussing & looking for a comfortable position, but she hardly complains anymore when I cut her off.

Of course, soon it'll be a different problem...
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#21 of 59 Old 07-26-2004, 01:13 PM
 
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I have 2 champion sleep fighters. Ds1 would hit or pinch himself to keep himself awake until he discovered pinching mama had the same effect with less pain :LOL Ds2 is going through a never-want-to-sleep phase right now because he is a new walker and just wants to go go go! He gets so overtired, but just can't settle regardless of when I put him down. He sometimes just needs to cry, but I always stay with him until he settles down enough to nurse. What has worked with both my boys (as an alternative to crying) was to catch them at that phase right before the overtired meltdown and just tickle, bounce, and giggle until they get to that wild, giggley stage. It seems (for us anyway) the emotional release of the all out laugh was just as much of a release as crying but much more pleasant. I got the idea from my dh who always giggles hysterically when overtired (usually because he is teasing me). He NEEDS that release when he is overtired, once he is done he drops right off without a problem. So far it has usually worked with my boys, plus it has made bedtime much more enjoyable. It is good for children to realize they need to have a release for all the overstimulation they face, and it is great to find positive ways to release it.


 

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#22 of 59 Old 07-26-2004, 05:24 PM
 
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Wonderful wonderful post FreeRangeMama
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#23 of 59 Old 07-26-2004, 05:35 PM
 
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Sorry if I might repeat but I haven't read all of the posts...

My ds resists sleep, too. Today, for example, he said he did not like sleeping and did not want to go home for a nap. So I said "ok, we won't... we'll just take a little walk" and minutes later he was fast asleep in the stroller. I was amazed. I figure that if I take away the stress of thinking that he had to go to sleep, he would just relax, and it worked.

At nighttime, we try to end the day like the sun sets: gradually. Lights gradually go out; noise gets gradually softer; activities get gradually calmer... we spend a lot of time in the bedroom reading and talking and playing quietly. Eventually ds just finally yawns and asks to nurse and falls asleep. Sometimes this is at 8:30pm and sometimes it's at 10pm.

I have just learned to accept the fact that he won't be keeping a consistent sleep schedule at this phase of his life. Too many interesting developments going on. When he was one, he was learning to crawl and walk and climb, then language development later on, and now he's potty learning... So many things to keep his mind active. He will often drift off and then perk up and ask me a question or tell me a story about something that happened today, yesterday, or last week...

The most important thing I try to do is recognize his sleepy cues. Whenever he yawns or rubs his eyes or starts tripping over things or gets crabby, I begin the process of setting the sun for him.

Also, we always nurse in the same place - either on the couch or on the bed. Little things that happen each night can help cue him to know that it is time for bed. We've talked about how when the sun sets it's bedtime, and last night I suggested that we take an evening stroll, but ds said "no! we can't! the sun has set! it's time for bed!" so we didn't get to go outside. Even so, ds still did not go to sleep until 10pm last night... oh well.
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#24 of 59 Old 07-26-2004, 05:42 PM
 
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I just re-read your post: maybe if you bring her into bed and "sleep" with her (you can sneak away later) she'll relax; I know you say your presence stimulates her, but if you are lying down and your eyes are closed, she might eventually get the idea that it is time to rest.

Also, her sleep needs/times may be shifting. She might be moving to one nap a day. I always let my ds nap when he needed to, and the nap schedule morphed every few months but managed to keep some sort of a pattern.

I don't think a one year old is capable of manipulating. To manipulate is a very complex and advanced skill, which I don't think toddlers are able to do. She definately has needs or wants that she is trying to express (I assume she is still preverbal?) and it is frustrating when she doesn't have the words.

Maybe she doesn't want to sleep alone in the crib? Maybe she does want your company? You could try bringing her into your bed for a few days and see what happens...
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#25 of 59 Old 07-27-2004, 12:05 AM
 
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We have a problem with DS acting very playful, and happy when tired, kind of a second wind thing. It took us a long time to recognize it and figure out what to do. It is incredibly deceiving. He might be awake for 8-10 hours and he is still happily playing. If we continue to let him play though, he would become extremely over-exhausted and not able to fall asleep.
I don't have any suggestions, but just want to let you know that although DC might no tbe acting sleepy, you are right to think that maybe she is.
Good luck

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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#26 of 59 Old 07-27-2004, 01:03 AM
 
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I have not read the other posts, but we did something with my oldest dd that worked well. It's not CIO, it's a bit gentler, and it really does work! First we had our bed on the floor so no danger of her falling out. Secondly we childproofed our room totally and shut the door. Then we all went to sleep after the usual routine, and played dead. Meaning, dh and I pretended to be asleep. Dd was really mad, she pulled at my hair, beat dh's chest, pulled our clothes, wailed "wake up wake up" and just had a major tantrum. Just to reassure her that we were still alive I would mumble "go to sleep Abi, time to go to sleep" while keeping my eyes closed (well I peeked!). After awhile she crawled out of the bed and around the room but since it was dark and there was nothing to do she came back to bed, cried some more, and finally layed down and fell asleep. It took about 3-4 days of this I think, and after that she never fought bedtime again.

Sounds kinda cruel but we were so sleep deprived it was affecting our lives, dh's work, he even said he fell asleep at the wheel once and that was it. We decided something had to be done.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#27 of 59 Old 08-01-2004, 02:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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USAmma, of all the suggestions so far, with the personality of my child, yours would probably work the best... she seems to need a lot of space to play and explore before sleeping.

However we live in such a tiny apartment that it probably won't be practical, plus, my dh really hates sleeping on the floor and so do I (I always have a weird phobia that mice will crawl over me!)... plus there is just no way to totally childproof the room so that I could relax while she crawled around. If we had a bigger house (our apt is exactly 2 not-very-large rooms), we could designate one room as a totally child-safe zone. I would love that (actually I think it's very important for kids to have a place like that in their home).

mackinsiesmom... YES that is my problem... she associates my very presence with play, a lot of the time.

Yesterday I was SO TIRED. I had not slept more than 5 hrs/night for over a week, and I was just exhausted. She has been, I think, teething again (a molar ) and yesterday, could not manage (despite only getting 8 hrs of sleep the nite before) to take a nap until 3:30 pm!!! I was at the point where I was so fried and desperate for my own rest, that I was really concerned for my sanity. I rarely feel that off balanced as a parent, but the combination of fatigue and frustration was making me say and do things that are not really the way I would like to parent. She was so overtired that she was lying down on the kitchen rug and making grimacey faces to stay awake, but then she would see something interesting, start hooting and babbling wildly, and run to chase it... it was like this horrible manic depressive tired baby thing going on!

I even tried going into the living room and letting her just cry in the bedroom, which I don't like to do, but as long as I was in the room, she would not sleep. At least that way, I could collect my wits and not yell at a little baby. I usually am so patient with her and I usually really don't mind if she takes a long time to fall asleep... we just hang out and "talk", listen to music, nurse, read stories, and do all that stuff everyone is describing here. But sometimes I just reach a breaking point, and I need relief. I told dh to let me sleep in this AM so I could catch up on sleep, and he did (am I the only mom here who hasn't been able to sleep past 7 am for an entire year???), but I couldn't stay asleep... I kept hearing her getting into things, hearing paper crinkling or a suspicious silence (that usually means she's stuck some stray questionable object into her mouth!), wondering what she was doing, and also was conscious that dh had not changed her dipe yet as I always do FIRST THING before anything else when she wakes (after sitting in pee for 12 hrs wouldn't you want a change?!)... so I was sort of like, all right... go back to bed, dh... this isn't working out. I go into the room where she is supposed to be "taken care of" and he is too tired to even get up and play with her; he's sort of lying on the floor half asleep and not watching what she is doing or changing, bathing her, etc. I mean the house is childproofed, but... grrrr!!! : I get less sleep than he does, but I always wake up, no matter how tired I am, to take care of her at 6 or 7, when she gets up. I wouldn't mind if I was a SAHM... but I work outside FT, too!!

Ventventventventvent!!!

all right, now that I got that out of my system.

re: the bouncy suggestion. I have tried (and it sometimes works)... spinning her around and dancing before bedtime. Not right before, but like an hour or two before. I find that that is really a very key suggestion. She is a VERY energetic child and one of the things I don't want her to learn in life, is to repress and be ashamed of that. I am afraid that having her CIO or even reacting angrily to that energy when it becomes too much for me to handle, is going to have that effect. I want to find good outlets for her energy so she will learn naturally to get tired.

Part of the problem is that I work so *()#$)(#& hard all the time, with a ft job and taking care of my dh and her and almost all of the housework (dh helps, but I don't like the way he does it and end up just being critical... prefer doing it myself, esp as I am always super concerned about the cleanliness of things now that we have a baby) that I don't always have the strength to be "fun" on my days off with her. I want to take naps, catch up on the mountains of housework, etc. I do try to take her out every day, but I think she needs a LOT more than what I give her. When she is with her dad all day, she seems much more stimulated and ready to sleep at the end of the day... she goes around to visit his friends, strolls around in her stroller all over town, enjoys much rougher play and more relaxed rules about what she can touch and play with. With me, she gets more of other valuable things, but with dad she gets lots of stimulation and excitement in her day. Of course, that means I don't always come home to a spotlessly clean house ... but at least he enjoys and has fun with her. Mommy is kind of a POOP on her days off!

I have also thought about trying homeopathy. The other day when she fell asleep at 3:30 pm, it was actually after a dose of Camomilla complex. I am thinking of trying some coffea cruda on her... it's indicated when there is restless, manic wakefulness similar to what you get drinking coffee. That's her! Heck, I am ready to try homeopathy on myself... just now I am really starting to see how completely exhausted I am. I have been sort of on this Mommy Ascetic Trip for the past year... enjoying absolutely no personal comforts or days/nites off and just throwing everything I have into dd and dh and my work and my house and... phew. WHAT ABOUT ME??? I am ready to just do the Marge Simpson thing where she stopped her car in the middle of a bridge and wouldn't drive anymore until Homer told her she was appreciated!

Well, dh does tell me that quite often... ... but at this moment, words don't cut it... I want a few hours to spend alone, or with a friend... or even on a date with dh without the baby... I just want to replenish my juices a little bit. I feel like everything I have is just being sucked out of me (quite literally... !)

I'm not ready to stop pumping yet. I still think my dd is justified by all means at her age to a full supply of milk and I don't mind providing it for her, I just am getting to a point where I want a break. It is possible also that dd is feeling my energy and responding to it... when I am calm and less tired/frustrated she is absolutely the easiest child for me, because our temperaments are more equal.

BD
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#28 of 59 Old 08-01-2004, 08:54 AM
 
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I have to say, very frequently I consider dropping off the MDC boards altogether because I can't believe how many people do CIO or "modified" CIO or "not really" CIO. I just don't get it.

Anyway. . . it sounds to me like you are having relationship issues with your dd, if you don't mind my saying so. Some of the phrasing you use - saying things like that she's being manipulative, etc. are tipoffs to me. I am concerned that maybe you have gotten yourself into an adversarial relationship with her, and that your inability to relax about her development/needs could be exacerbating what might have just been a short phase. I wonder about this because of your saying she is trying to keep her eyes open with her fingers, among other reasons.

Most of the people on these boards seem to be vaguely aware of the damage that CIO does to relationships (how would your relationship with your dh progress if he left you sobbing yourself to sleep!?), but few people seem to know that CIO actually causes brain damage. I've got some links, if anyone is interested in the information (obviously it's not in the mainstream press!)

In any case, I hope I am not coming off as judgemental. I am a bit upset by this thread, though. I know you are trying really hard, but recently I have noticed that in everyone's attempts to be "supportive" on these boards, people wind up saying CIO is okay as long as you feel guilty about it, or something. I think we all get too busy to center ourselves and think about our relationships with our children. It really is a spiritual experience to be connected with your child. I think that in moments of desperation, we endanger the relationship, but if we can just pull ourselves together (often by getting help from family members, or by reading supportive books), we can re-connect. If we don't, it's a slippery slope.

My point is that your baby's brain does not understand whether or not you've "tried everything." To all of us, CIO might not be "that big a deal, given your situation," but your baby's brain can't understand that, neurologically. Of course, in our society, not everyone can be Supermom, but we can at least be honest with ourselves!

So, what would I do if I were you? I'd try really hard to relax. I'd get some phone counseling from someone like Jan Hunt from the Natural Child Project website, or from Scott Noelle at ScottNoelle.com. I'd work really hard at spiritually reconnecting to my child. I'd dance her to sleep, or go for long, rhythmic walks to get her to sleep at night. (I can say this because I have done this a million times myself! )

Just my 2 cents! I hope you're not offended. I *do* tend to try to get to the root of things. Instead of being like most of the PPs who say, "You're doing a great job, Mama!" - I'd prefer to encourage you by saying, "You're doing a great job - and I know you can do even better, Mama!"

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#29 of 59 Old 08-01-2004, 05:15 PM
 
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You mention that you are very busy and don't spend a lot of time with dd. And that she just wants to play with you when you try to get her to sleep. Maybe she just wants and needs more time with you. Is there anything that you can compromise to give yourself more daily one-on-one quality time with her? If dd is happier and more fulfilled then you could become happier and less stressed.
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#30 of 59 Old 08-01-2004, 09:51 PM
 
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ITA mother_sunshine

It is so important to let the unimportant things go and focus on what is important. Let the housework go!! Your dd is more important than a clean carpet The laundry will wait and the clutter certainly isn't going anywhere. I went through 3 years of severe sleep deprivation, my ds1 only slept 5 hours a night and didn't nap (turned out to be a food allergy). Once I let go of EVERYTHING but him it became so much easier to cope. What got done got done, what didn't didn't. My dh just told me today that he is so much happier to come home to a messy house and happy children than the opposite and he is right. Mama, you can't do everything. You are burning yourself out with unrealistically high expectations of yourself. Take care of yourself and your dd FIRST. I hope things get easier for you soon


 

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