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How do you help your child sleep at night so that you can sleep too???

515 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  OhMel
Okay, how do YOU do it??? Dh and I are exhausted and b/c this has been going on for so long, we are sleep deprived, okay that's normal I guess, maybe we are asking too much? But being sleep deprived lends one towards irritation and frustration that causes one to not really deal with the situation, just keep hoping it changes. When she was younger, nursing, though I was a zombie, I just went with it. She cried out, if she wasn't in our bed yet (after about 6 months or so she usually started out in her own 'place' then after first waking came to our bed) I was immediately to her, nursing her, whatever she wanted. snuggle nurse, snuggle nurse, all night long.....okay I'm supposed to be editing here and I'm adding waymore details than anyone wants to spend their time anyway, to continue on with my original bit and question to PLEASE HELP??!

... This has been going on since, oh about 4 months old (besides the normal newborn up and at 'em at all hours) when she began teething. We've been through all sorts of 'phases' multiple times. We co-slept from the beginning until about 6-8 months ago. We nursed til she was 3 (she's 3 1/2 now) and then Daddy took over the nighttime issues, though I'm still awake. She ***REQUIRES** assistance to go to sleep, one of us absolutely has to be laying down with her or she has a fit....I wish I could detail our whole history for you, but I don't want to bore you and I don'thave that kind of time (LOL) anyway, my dh and I are exhausted. I had been at least happier b/c dh was going in at night to help her get back to sleep but then he falls asleep too and wakes up later, comes back to our bed, she wakes up again, over and over, repeat scenario throughout the night. But he's getting irritated now. And I'm beyond irritated. I need sleep, she apparently doesn't. How do we reconcile that? How do you help your child to sleep at night? I understand the night terrors idea and I am sympathetic to it, but if this is terrors, this phase has been lasting for 3 years!!!!!

I hope I am at least making a little bit of sense...there is so much I feel I am leaving out, but hopefully you get the general idea. Part of it is my own personal problem b/c I have a difficult time waking up anyway....greeting the mornings is tough for me....but when I wake up 2, 3, 4 and 5 times a night, every night, even post-nursing,.... I just feel like there is something I could be doing to help my DD. I feel like we did everything we were "supposed" to do, the AP decisions and such to support our dd...and not that those thoughts and actions and strived for attitudes are a guarantee of outcome, ....I just don't know how to help our dd get some sleep, help me and my dh get some sleep and all develop happy healthy attitudes about sleeping, what to do when we wake up at night, and also how to wake up in the morning......We're all tired and cranky and I'm finding it harder and harder to find patience and tenderness in those wee wee hours....


Thanks for reading....any suggestions would be appreciated....

(yawn) Jennifer
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Our oldest had a really hard time getting the hang of going to sleep by himself. We put him in his little bed right next to ours, so we could lie next to him but then when we got up the bed wouldn't move and wake him up, This was at about 4.

At 6, he and his 3 yo brother went into their own room. The 3 yo went right to sleep, but the bigger one still needed an adult with him for about 6 more months. Then we had a folding chair in the open doorway, where one adult could sit and read a grown-up book after bedtime stories, songs and lights-out. That helped a ton, because we were right there, but quiet, reading for ourselves, and he could see we wern't doing anything fun w/o him, or going away.

Over time, the chair moved out into the hall. We also used a homeopathic sleep aid, maybe coffee cruda. I can check if you want, just PM me. Now at age 9, he sometimes lies awake for a while, but has no trouble with us saying good night and leaving the room.
Thanks, Meguey....9years old, huh? I guess there's no light at the end of our tunnel yet then. (smile) I like your idea of the chair in the door way/hall way...I do see some possiblities in that one, at least for the going to bed. part.

Every child is different....goodness. How was he through the night? I need to reread your post....beyond 9yrs old and the reading in the hall way I'm blanking on everything else you said! I really am losing my head!!! (yawn!)

Here I go editing again! I think I was editing my original post while you responded! Anyway, we tried coffea a while sort of worked, it limited the night waking from 4,5,6 and 7 times, to 2 and a few times only once...but after about 2 weeks, no good. This was when she was about 1 1/2, maybe 2....I can't really remember now.

Thank you for your thoughts....
Jennifer. I totally understand the frustration of feeling like you've AP'd and done everything "right" and you are still sleep deprived and crazy 3 years later. My dd is also 3.5, and a poor sleeper, except we have always let dd sleep in our room. However, lately she wants to sleep ON me. And its making me crazy.

Anyway, for a long time the solution that worked for us was having a twin bed right beside our bed, so dd slept in her bed, in arms reach of mom and dad. Dh doesn't like that dd is still in our room, but he's worse at nighttime parenting than I am. Something else that helped dd for a while, was that we went on vacation with family who had a firm 8PM bedtime for their girls, dd didn't go to bed like they did, but it made a real impression about how "big girls" sleep.

I hope something heer was helpful.
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It sounds to me like your DD's main issue is that she wants to sleep in proximity to mom and dad. So moving her back into your room might be a good idea for the time being. No more getting up in the night.

Also, what time does your DD go to bed? What time do you and DH go to bed? Is there a fixed time she has to get up in the morning? If she has to have someone to lie down with her, moving her bedtime to the same time as yours and/or DH's might make sense, especially if she can sleep in to make up the difference. Then no one has to go lie down before they're ready.
Hi Ravin,
Thanks for your thoughts...
Some of the issue may be the proximity thing....but if she returned to our bed, then there would be no sleep at all for me. She wiggles way too much. I just get kicked, punched, bear hugged etc. all night, and I can't sleep through that. we've tried having her "on the floor" next to our bed, but it doesn't really help at all, she just ends up in our bed when she wakes, in which she sleeps fine, but not me anymore.

Her bedtime is around 8pm...the 'routine' begins anywhere from 715-745 and she is in bed between 8-830. Sometimes she's asleep in 5 minutes, sometimes it takes 30 min. or so (which is nothing to the sometimes 2 hours it used to be when she still nursed! I've read some of the other threads here, and boy can I sympathize cuz I've been there) Anyway....that's her bedtime, and my dh and I will go to bed anywhere from 930-11 depending on our days, how much we've seen of each other, etc. After she goes to bed is 'our' only time, so it is precious and few. Having her stay up with us is just not an option right now. She's too tired to stay up anyway, plus she's up *early* regardless of what time she goes to bed. any time anybody ever said "oh she'll sleep good tonight!" Nope! Or on special occasions when bedtimes are not adhered to and she's up later than normal, and you hope and pray that she will sleep injust a little bit...never happens. and sometimes she's up even earlier than normal! She hasn't napped in a very long time either....since before she was 2.

Anyway, thanks for responding, Ravin. It somehow helps me to be mentally calmer about it all to just have this outlet andknow that folks are reading and responding...

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Hey Mama,

Your story sounds just like mine. My 3.5 year old still requires me to go to sleep with him too. And I sleep with him and the baby.
Not too fun but he's just not ready to sleep by himself. I personally find it easier to sleep with him (and get kicked, knee'd whatever) than to wake up and deal with him. My 2.5 month old sleeps a ton better than ds! So no real suggestions, just co-miseration.
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