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Wow, your description of your baby brings back memories. Maybe I was lucky that I started out with the high needs baby since I didn't know things were different for other people till later on, LOL! If you are looking for a book on sleep, "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley is an AP-friendly book that might give you some ideas.

Get the mother's helper, a.s.a.p.! As long as you're in the house, even a younger teenager could work out (and they are cheap). A friend of mine has a responsible 13 year-old as a mother's helper once a week. Her son LOVES the babysitter because she's fun and bubbly and plays with him. And if that time would just be spent on videos anyway, then it's better to have a helper who'll play! Or if you want to be able to leave eventually, get someone older and more trustworthy for complex situations. You can interview them and then watch them with your child to see if you feel comfortable. When I was in college my dorm published a babysitter contact list that moms in the area would use. You might check your local college for something like that if you have one.

Back to the videos - don't knock yourself out over letting your older child watch them. Sure, 14 hours a day of videos would be bad, but something tells me that isn't the case here. Most all of us go through periods of time when our kids watch more videos than usual. When things are going better then you can scale back. It won't be this hard forever, I promise.

This may sound stupid, but I co-slept and found that if I turned and faced away from the baby (with my back to her), the smell of milk wasn't as alluring. Also, on occasion I'd go and sleep in the guest bed after the baby was down and she would wake less (this was when she was older, like 9 months). I think it's kind of like how adults think they want pizza when they smell it cooking - you're only hungry b/c you smelled yummy food in the air.

One thing - you mentioned that one hour is way too long for it to take a 3-month old to go to sleep. I only have one child and don't have a lot of experience with babies, but it took at LEAST that long to get our sleep-fighting DD to sleep until she was much older than that. Often it took longer. (Now she is 3 and it still feels like forever with the ritual of reading books, telling a story, snuggling, etc.!)

Can your DH get the baby to sleep? That was my lifesaver. DH would walk DD around and sing to her. I will warn you that doing that creates another routine that is hard to break, but it saved my aching nipples and divided the nighttime parenting up a little bit, which is only fair.

I also had fantasies about paragoric when DD was a babe. You could talk to a naturopath about trying products like chamomile-based relaxers for kids or Bach's Rescue Remedy. Even a few drops of chamomile tea might help. I don't know how young you can use them, but I distinctly remember giving the chamomile calm stuff to DD when she was a baby and it definitely mellowed her out.

Hang in there. Ask for and be willing to receive all the help and support you can get at this tough time. You deserve it.

Warmly,
Carol
 
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