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So. My older child is 3y10m, and I had a baby three weeks ago. DS1 is acting out like crazy. It isn't directed at the baby so far, but at DH and me. A lot of it seems like pretty typical, age appropriate stuff: selective hearing/ignoring us, whining, saying nasty things to us, pretending to be helpless, potty regression, hurting us and laughing about it, super melodramatic reactions, etc. The absolute worst, though, which compounds and magnifies all the other stuff out of proportion, is the not sleeping. He won't nap anymore. He delays going to sleep at night for as long as he possibly can, and then wakes up in the middle of the night. DH has been sleeping with DS, and DS pesters him and keeps him awake. A couple times DH has just lost it, got up and yelled at DS, and gone to sleep on the couch, leaving me to try to get screaming DS back to sleep while juggling our newborn
: Two nights ago DS fell asleep at 10pm, woke at 1:45am and didn't go back to sleep until 6am. He was up at 7:30 for the day. He still won't take a nap, go to bed early, or sleep late, or in any way compensate for the missed sleep.

So, DH, DS, and I are all totally sleep deprived above and beyond the normal new-baby tiredness, and we're just falling apart. DH and I have each slapped DS's hand in the past week
: I did it when DS picked up the cat by the tail, and DH did it when DS pinched him. The rest of the time, we're just crabby, impatient, rigid, and really having a hard time keeping any interaction positive, it seems...

Argh, I feel so crappy about the whole thing, but I think that if we were getting something vaguely resembling adequate sleep, we could handle the rest of it. I *know* DS wants attention and reassurance that his place in the family is secure, but it's soooo hard to set aside all his obnoxious behavior and love him up when I've slept like 6 hours out of the last 72...
 

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So. I only have one dd, so mine is not exactly the voice of experience. But dd has gone through phases of no sleep, so I can at least empathize a little there. Complete elimination of dairy and a pretty structured nighttime routine has helped twice now. More importantly, though, it sounds loke YOU need sleep. Can ds spend some time with someone? Maybe a day 1-on-1 with dh. THen you can snuggle in with the baby and SLEEP when the baby sleeps. I know everyone says it and nobody actually does it, but it might help you catch up on some sleep. Once you're feeling a bit more rested maybe you could find some 1-on-1 time with ds to give him some of the attention and reassurance he needs.

Hugs to you mama...this too shall pass
 

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It sounds like you've all gotten caught in the vicious cycle of an overtired child. Once they get overtired, it's really hard to get some kids to calm down enough to sleep (I know, I've got one, but luckily, she's #2!)

Thoughts/brainstorming:

Can you have someone come in and spell you -- or be able to be up when ds is up in the middle of the night so that you can get some sleep? Someone to take him to the park while you nap with the baby? We have cousins with a child with autism who didn't sleep as a toddler (and I do mean didn't sleep), and they would take turns being in the room wiht him one night and sleeping in another room/the couch the next.

Will he fall asleep in the car? Can dh drive around until ds falls asleep and then carry him in?

Can you all go to bed at 8 PM? Simply tell him the house is quiet. He doesn't need to sleep, but he needs to lie down and be quiet (maybe do this in stages so that the first night you move his bedtime 'back' 1/2 hour until you reach 8 PM). And then prepare to be really boring and really dull and return him to bed 85 times without saying anything? If he pesters or hits dh, then have dh move off the bed, and then get up and return ds to the bed, saying "I'll sleep with you when you lie still".

Can you fast forward your life a month or two when this will all be done and just skip this part?
Sorry, not helpful I know, but that's the fastest solution I can think of!
 
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