Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 138 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
1,032 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am here for one thing only . . . SYMPATHY.

If you are in a space right now where you LOVE bedtime and appreciate holding and rocking and singing your child to sleep for hours on end because this is such a special time in your life, please don't tell me. I can't take it.

I try so hard to be a voice of reason and calm on these boards, but right now I just need to VENT. And vent hard.

My beautiful boy whom I adore is now 21 mos and bedtime is STILL, BY FAR, the hardest time of my day. I will spare you all the details, because most of you have BTDT, but suffice it so say that he still needs SO much help going to sleep and no matter WHAT we do (early bedtime, late bedtime, early rise, late rise, long nap, short nap, rough play b4 bed, quiet time b4 bed, strict routine, varying routine, bouncing, lying still -- do you get my drift here?!?!), it STILL almost always takes 45 minutes or more to get him to sleep.

And I find it to be tedious and BORING AS HELL!!!!

DH and I need a strategic plan for making this better, but GOOD GRIEF, when are we supposed to talk to each other? At 11 PM after ds has finally fallen asleep?!?!


Feel sorry for me. Tell me your night-life sux, too. Tell me that you, too, sometimes have fantasies of hunting down Dr. Sears and making him listen to your fingernails on a chalkboard for implying that babies fall asleep when they're tired IF you establish the perfect conditions.


But please don't ask me if I'm sure he's really tired, or I am going to drive my car off the nearest cliff.


Phew! Vent complete. Let's see if I have the guts to actually post it!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
953 Posts
Oh please. I HAVE BRUISES from putting her to sleep each night. She kicks and fusses and moans. This is recent but it's now coming to a hellish crescendo. She started preschool and sort of began potty training this week so on top of continuous cries of "Mine!" and "NO!" I have flying poops on the carpet, and I have this bedtime Sisyphian task of trying to get her to lie still. She is soooo tired and just so overwound. She had been pretty good up until now.

It sux. I can totally sympathize. It can't go on much longer. I too want to hang myself after struggling for an hour to get her down. "I need a juice." "I need back rub." "I need more big books." "No music, mama." "No jamas." "Where's daddy?" "It's wake up time now."

2 weeks ago this was a different child.

Denny
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,637 Posts
About rough nights...



For you...
(((((((((((((Breathe)))))))))))))))))


For your little boy, that he may sleep tonight, early and soundly...


(ummm, this is the sleepy dust fairy tonight. No, not the other fairy - don't get nervous, E!)

Sorry it's been so hard. Glad you reached out to vent - we can all use a good rant sometimes. And we know you love your son, lol.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
660 Posts
Please dont drive off a cliff!!! My son is about 2 1/2 months younger than yours and I have had weeks that seemed liked hell too at bedtime and night time. I liked your vent! I know that you'll get some support and good feedback.


I'll ask b/c I know someone else may...Approximately what time does he wake up in the morning

How long is his nap and around what time does he usually go down?

I realize that all kids are different and everyday is different for most kids too. It's that way at my house. And just when I think I have it figured out....you know the rest of that line. But I am wondering for my own sake here too. I've heard that the older they get the less sleep they may require.

Here's what ds's routine has been the last month or so...(some days are a little different but he ends up back on this routine usually the next day and he makes up for the lost sleep on another day w/ a longer nap or 12 hours at night)

~Falls asleep between 9pm and 10:30pm
~Awakens between 7:45am and 9:00am (the earlier he falls asleep the sooner he generally wakes up and he still wakes up at least two times a night)
~Naps start usually between 1:30pm and 3:00pm and he will generally sleep for 2 hours.

Your little guy must be really excited about life!!


H.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
660 Posts
MB and I were posting at the same time...there's no way in [email protected]!$ I could ever top those emoticons! You must be the new emotican queen! You crack me up...
:LOL
:LOL
:LOL
:LOL
:LOL
:LOL
:LOL
:LOL
:LOL
:LOL
:LOL
:LOL

More hugs to El and to Denny (mommy with bruises).


Loving, patience vibes to the mamas and dadas. And some funny emoticons to think of when you may be about to freak at bedtime or anytime...


I guess I wont be reading by book tonight.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Oh dear Breathe....I've had two glasses of wine and I just feel fine. Maybe that's what you need
I don't know how to emoticom, so forgive me, because I can't quite figure out how to wink at you in this land of e-symbols.!

When ds was 21 months, I was just where you were. And I was pregnant. We night-weaned and it was the path less taken and it was the difference (forgive me Mr. Frost - i'm nearly 3 sheets to the wind.)

I hated those nights so much. I felt like an AP failure. I hated motherhood. I wanted to CIO so badly because I was angry that couldn't have a little me time..

I could have waited to change the dynamic in our household and I am sure it would have resolved itself by the time DS was 3-4 years old - but let's face it - 3-4 years of banging you head against the wall can't be good.

I'm here for you! I hear you pain - you want to be there for you son - to help him wind down - but it seems to be backfiring and you just don't udnerstand. "how come I am doing all of the prefect AP stuff that I read about and my kid isn't blissfully falling asleep in my arms from the sheer pleasure of my breasts?"

I am going out on a limb here, please don't freak out. 21 months is a very aware baby - and they are starting to get that they are part of a larger unit called a family. I feel like it's good to let them know that their needs *are* going to get met, but that so *are* mom's and Dad's.

I better stop now and go sleep it off. Love to you all - my sweet MDC family!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,247 Posts
Last night:
DS fell asleep at 730p during our evening walk.
I knew I was in trouble.
He woke again at 10p, then again at 1230p then again at 230p then again at 430p.
I had to be up for work at 530p.
Anytime DH took him and tried to get him back to sleep he screamed at the top of his strong little lungs.

I had to nurse and nurse and nurse.. while he wriggled and kicked, sat up, flopped over on me, rolled around the bed.. turned sideways and then tried to get down off the bad.

I feel like sh**.
He either naps too late and won't sleep.. or doesn't nap at all and won't sleep because he is over-exhausted.

Sometimes it makes me question ap...
but I just could never never cio.

Oh, I'd sell my soul for 8 hours uninterrupted sleep.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16,471 Posts
I can give my full sympathy because it's happened to me too! I hated it!! We still struggle with bedtime but after reading Raising Your Spirited Child and my own creativity I was able to apply some principles to bedtime and it's much improved. Not sure if some of the ones here are old enough for some of my ideas but here they are-- figured you'd be willing to try anything. :)

-- at 20 mos. or so we got dd her own futon on the floor next to, but slightly separated, from our bed. We started putting her only to sleep on it so at least we got a few hours of alone-time sleep before she woke up to join us at midnight. Now at 30 mos. she joins us at around 4-5 AM so it's getting better. The family bed just was not working for us past a certain age. Too much stress and sleep deprivation.

-- my dd's a big kicker. I was literally sore from her kicking me and really fed up with it. She has to kick something to go to sleep. First I had her kicking a pillow but she would wiggle those feet under the pillow to get at me. Then I started rubbing her legs and it relaxes her enough that she goes to sleep.

-- She has a CD that she's been using for about 3 mos. now. Gentle nature-based music. She turns it on herself and *needs* it to get to sleep. Sometimes she'll wake up at night and turn it on and go back to sleep. Dh and I are thrilled with this recent development!

-- We read her a couple books in bed before the lights go out. She puts the lights out. I think it's important for her to take part in her bedtime routine. Then in the dark I recount everything she did that day so she has things to think about as she falls asleep. I put it in the form of a story.

-- She knows that us sitting next to her while she goes to sleep is a priveledge. If she kicks us, we leave for a few minutes and she has to stay in her bed or she goes to time-out. We don't leave the room, we just move to our bed. She cries and tries harder not to kick. This was a tough thing to do but both dh and I were tired of getting kicked by a child who's old enough to control it at least most of the time. Esp. with me being pg now, and dh getting kicked one too many times in his groin area.

-- To combat the boredom I bought a walkman and got books on tape from the library. I actually started looking forward to bedtime so I could "read" my book in the dark! Later I got a booklight and now I read sometimes too. She knows not to touch the light or else I leave the bed.

-- If it's taking too long to get her to sleep dh and I will relieve each other after an hour. (Dh has been putting her to bed more than me lately to get her ready for the new baby).

-- We make sure she has eaten a good dinner and give her 1/2 glass of milk before bedtime to make sure she doesn't wake up hungry. She was waking up very hungry very early and we started making her eat more at dinner-- this was a power struggle, not her not being hungry-- and now after dinner she will even eat 1/2 slice of apple pie! (So I know we are not forcing her to eat more than she can) Then by bedtime she's full and happy and sleeps better.

-- We never let her nap after 2 PM, period. Sometimes we have a hellish afternoon and evening but it's worth it when she drops off to sleep at a decent hour. As far as naps go, I allow her to tell me when she wants one rather than trying to get her down at a certain time. I wait for the signals of her rubbing her eyes and looking dazed, and then lay down with her and let her go to sleep. If she doesn't go to sleep right away I give up on it. Yesterday she didn't get to sleep by 2 PM so she didn't get a nap yesterday at all and it was ugly, but she slept through the whole night 9 PM- 7 AM!

It still sometimes takes 2 hours to get her to sleep on the bad days, but the booklight and our rules really, really help us all to not feel resentful about it. Most of the time now it takes under 30 minutes.

Good luck you all! I feel your pain!!

Darshani
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,032 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the support, Everyone. And thank you for not questioning me about why I'm trying to "force" my child to sleep when he's clearly not tired, etc, etc . . . I have gotten that response one too many times here at MDC! And after 21 months of trial and error (oh, so many errors!), I KNOW my son and I KNOW when he's tired and I KNOW when he's fighting sleep. Thank you for trusting me on this.

Yes, some days I would like to give the AP philosophy a swift kick in the proverbial pants. I do believe that we have created this little problem in our child -- and I do believe it's quite common among the AP set, as exemplified by your experiences (and the sheer volume of sleep-related threads on these hallowed boards!).

But in retrospect, I don't regret anything we've done along the way, bc it was all done out of love and empathy and gentleness. There is no point in ds's life that I can look to and say that we should have been tougher or more distant or less THERE for him.

That said, I do hope that I will be so much less anxious with future children, such that I might interpret their cues slightly differently and possibly find a way to help them sleep easier. (Like, I bet I'll tolerate a little more "fussing," while with ds I couldn't take one PEEP out of him without picking him up!) We shall see.

Regarding your replies . . .

Denny, I am so sorry for your bruises! You poor thing! It sounds like you are deep in the throes of toddler HELL. My wish for you is that it ends quickly and that maybe you won't have much memory of it. Kind of like some forgotten trauma.


Mamabutterfly, I'm on to you. You've been doing secret emoticon tutorials with Curly Locks, haven't you?!?! Even CL was impressed with your display . . . ("and the student shall teach the teacher")
Thanks for the love, Mama!

Curly, You are definitely on to something with asking about the wake-up times and naps. My little punkin is a night-owl and he comes by it naturally. His preference would be to sleep until 9:30 am, nap from 3-6, and then be up until 11 or 12. And who can blame him?! That sounds perfect to me, too! But the problem is (as someone later pointed out) that WE NEED SOME FRICKIN' TIME TO OURSELVES!!!
I mean, I give him everything I've got ALL DAY LONG, but I have got to have some R&R at the end of the day. Ok, ok, preaching to the choir, I know.

SO I'm working on waking him up early every day, getting him down for an earlier nap, and not letting him sleep more than 2 hours, but all it takes is one late-ish night (dinner w/the g'parents, dh working late, etc) and he *immediately* jumps back to his natural bio-clock.

(And don't worry, you'll always be the emoticon queen to me!!!)

Iguanavere, I laughed SO HARD at your post. Wanna know what I did after I posted this last night? Went downstairs and had TWO GLASSES OF WINE!
AND I ate potato chips! It was so fabulous. Yessirree Bob, there is nothing like eating and drinking your problems away!
:

And you're right about mom and dad's needs being important, and my "tyrant radar" is up . . . I'm watching him carefully for signs that he truly does expect us to jump when he says jump (and those signs are there, let me tell ya!) . . . but I also can see that we are not quite there yet with the bedtime. I feel responsible for getting him to this unable-to-put-himself-to-sleep place, so I feel like I need to stick it out until I've taught him some better skills.

But yes, where is this part in the AP manual?!?!?
:

Pumpkinseed, Thanks for chiming in! Misery does love company in this case, I'm afraid!

Asherah, I am SO sorry. I think you may have it worse than me, Sister. At least my child is sleeping at night (well, for longer stretches, anyway, and only for now, I'm sure!) Really and truly, I could not do this if I had to get up and go to a job in the morning. You are one tough cookie. And your ds is one LUCKY boy that you have toughed this out for him! Hang in there, Hon! I'll PM you if Sleep Fairy visits my house and bestows the magic answer upon me.

Speaking of which, has anyone else considered Baby Valium in a fit of desperation?!?!


It's so funny that we use only homeopathic rememdies, but there have been moments when I would have mainlined valium into one or both of us if I'd been able to!

Darshani, Thanks so much for all the suggestions. I smiled when I read them bc we have done so many of them. Altho for us, co-sleeping works quite well. It's just the beginning of the night that is making me BONKERS! I like the idea of having the chid turn out the light -- I think we'll start that tonight! And I jokingly said to dh last night that I need a walkman! I'll have to think about that one . . . I'm afraid it would just be one more thing for ds to perseverate on. ("M. see Mommy's headphones. M. see Mommy's headphones. M. see Mommy's headphones. M. see Mommy's headphones. M. see Mommy's headphones. M. see Mommy's headphones.") AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!


All this being said, I feel the need for a caveat, in case the AP police are watching: All of the above is said with MANY grains of salt and MUCH intended humor . . . I am head over heels in love with my child, LOVED rocking and nursing him to sleep for the first 16 months or so (and frankly, would do it until he was TWELVE if it worked!!!), and would NEVER hurt him or myself, with prescription drugs, or cliffs, or hammers to the head.

And I will admit that today, like yesterday, he fell asleep in the sling at naptime -- snuggled under my neck, stroking my boob (hey, it's his Lovie!), and all before the 2nd Bonnie Raitt song on the CD ended. SO it's not all awful at my house. Only after 8 PM.


You guys are awesome. Thanks!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
"M. see Mommy's headphones..." LOL! You are too funny, Breathe!

You know I feel your pain! Because I have to work, though, ds is on an earlier schedule for waking and sleeping than he'd prefer. When we went to San Francisco, he had an awful day with the flights, no naps, etc, so we just got him onto pacific time right away. Any chance of trying one hellish day with no (or little) napping, then trying to re-establish a bedtime and waking time? I don't know if it would work for your wild man, but I could have sworn it wouldn't have worked for W, either. Worked in reverse on the way home, too, btw. Still takes forever to get him to sleep, but at least it's at a reasonable hour - if he fights us, it's still only 9 or 9:30 when he's finally out.

And I'll 'fess up to a margarita last night...!
*clink!*
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,032 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey momcat, You know about the Commando-Day-of-No-Naps, too, huh?!? Yes, it works fabulously to get him to bed early and to re-establish a more sane schedule.

But then, my dear child, SOMEONE has to BE with him all day until he finally collapses from exhaustion. Is that SOMEONE going to be little 'ole ME?!?! Not today, Toots.

My plan is for dh to take a day off from work to do it. While I go to the pool.

He doesn't know about this plan yet. Would you be willing to email him and ask him for me? Pretty please?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,446 Posts
Oh, I am so there... (drinking water)


My bedtime woes plummeted when I started reading good FICTION books with a night/book light (actually called a Book Wedge, it's awesome) and not worrying about how long I had to lie there...

Good luck and HUGS!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Come on over, Analisa! Although it is in the 90's again today, and we have um... no real guest rooms... but hey! The kids don't sleep anyway, so we can have a big slumber party in the livingroom! Been thinking of you today, A - any news yet? We'll be waiting...
 

· Banned
Joined
·
880 Posts
Oh man, have I been where you are.


I'm so sorry it's so hard.

My sleeping breakthrough with Sophie came when I wasn't the one who put her to bed. The day my dog died, dp took her in, got her all happy and cozy, put her in her crib, and left her there, and came down twenty minutes later to see how I was doing. I assumed he'd put her down to bed like he'd seen me do. Wash, jammies, singing, cuddle, sleep, on my bed.

I didn't hear her so I didn't know any different.

I didn't realize until almost an hour later he'd left her in the cot, awake. She never made a sound.

If *I* do this, all
breaks loose. If he does it, she settles down in her cot like a little


She's easier than Maeve. When Maeve was little, in desperation one night I literally restrained her. She was so tired she was screaming. She was literally hitting herself, trying to open her little eye lids. I hated bed time with Maeve. H A T E D I T.

She was 4 before she would go to sleep without me wanting to bind and gag her and lock her in a closet.

Much sympathy and no answers.....
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7,482 Posts
My dd that is 3 1/2 now was this same way. I absolutely couldn't take it anymore, and me and my hubby were exhasted. Honestly, I have NO idea how our baby was concieved.
:

Our dd was a preemie and was sooo high mantainance. She slept in short little spurts FOREVER it felt like. Then once she started sleeping through the night the night time routine to GET her to sleep was 1-2 hours sometimes!

She still won't fall asleep in her bed by herself, but we're not pulling teeth to get her to sleep now, and the baby is still nursing so that makes it easy. When she nurses after 9:30ish, she'll go to sleep for sure.

I feel your pain Breathe...hope you don't blow a gasket before your kid gets out of this frustrating phase...

I just hope once the baby is done nursing, we won't be going through this all over again...*shutters at the thought*
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,032 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
In the 90's in WISCONSIN?!?! What the . . ?

On a serious note, Analisa and Darshani: Does the booklight not distrub them as they're trying to fall asleep? I've always assumed that the reason I could put ds on the bed awake at night but not for naps, was bc it was dark. (During the day he thinks it time for "jumpin' on da bed!" so I have to sling him.)

If it's not too much light, maybe I'll give that a try.

And yes, Analisa, PM us or something -- We need to know how many lima beans are in there!!! (You didn't know you had so many "partners" sharing in your pregnancy, did you?!?)
 
1 - 20 of 138 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top