So, DS has been fighting bedtime for the past few weeks. It all started with a couple of nights in a row that he couldn't fall asleep easily, and in my frustration, I brought him back downstairs with me while I finished up my chores for the night. Now he asks to go to bed, we do our bedtime routine, and as soon as he starts to drift off, he pops up and says, "Carry downstairs?"
I try so hard to get him to go back to sleep, but it hasn't been working, so I have been caving and just bringing him back down to play for another hour or so and then when we go back up, it is a battle to get him down. I am so exhausted, I can barely see straight. He has also been waking in the middle of the night and asking to go downstairs, and again at around 4:30 or 5am. It is insane...
Tonight, I tried a version of the Super Nanny trick (please, no flames, I was absolutely desperate...) I laid down with him, nursed him, sang his lullabies, and when he popped up to ask if he could go downstairs with me, I said, "No, it is time for sleep, lay back down and go to sleep". This was said as gently as possible, and I picked him up and laid him down beside me.
He popped up immediately and said, "Carry downstairs???" a little more forcefully, so I simply said, "It's time for sleep, sweetie" and laid him back down. After that, every time he popped back up, I simply laid him back down beside me, but I didn't speak. I also didn't let him nurse again.
I am not wanting to night wean, but I do need him to cut back some. My nipples are so sore, and he can literally nurse for hours at night. I can't sleep through him nursing any more, and I need to get some sleep. I am averaging around 3-5 hours a night, and I cannot function as a sane, rational, gentle mama on that little amount of sleep.
It took about an hour and a half of him crying, tantruming, screaming, begging, and pleading before he finally settled down and went to sleep. I never left his side, and I would occasionally say to him, "It is time for sleep sweetie". I tried a few times to rub his back, or his feet, but that just made him more stressed, so I finally gave up and just laid beside him.
It all felt so wrong, but I have no idea what on earth I need to do to get him to sleep. Please mamas, give me some advice.
I am positive he is not in pain, he has been napping well, and he is not sick. I am just praying that he does not wake up again at around 2 and again at 5 as usual to repeat the same thing again tonight. I don't know what I will do. It felt like it was tearing my heart out watching him cry next to me. There has to be a more gentle way to do this.