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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!
 

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I can so commiserate with all of you. DS was a champion sleep fighter, beginning at the very beginning. He always slept well, he just could not transition to sleep well and fought it the whole way!

Now ds is 3 and for the passed 6 months bedtime has been the favorite time of day for us. Let me explain:

"Oh, did I mention Eli (just turned 2) is tryng to give up the nap as well? (except he clearly clearly needs it, so we're trying to make it happen, fighting w/him every day about it)."

I think that between 18 months and 2 there is a real need for setting limits and boundaries for sleep fighters. I also think that they are probably trying to drop naps and just don't know how to deal.

This was my son, at 2 he was resisting napping, yet seemed to really need a nap. Then at night he would resist sleep again.

Once I gave up the ghost and stopped trying to make him nap, life has gotten so much easier and ds goes to sleep between 7-8 pm and sleeps until 6-7 in the morning.

Here is what worked:

It took about a month to transistion out of naps....there were times he would fall asleep around 5 pm and that sucked - so I would try to be at a park or ourside or somthing around that time so that we could then do dinner and the whole routine at 6, so ds was ready for bed at 7.

Get strict with your nighttime routine. Do not deviate. Do not be afraid of your child's anger over the new limits (boundaries) just empathize that changes are hard but this is the best for everyone. (Geez, I just read that and I sound like a babywiser - eek. Remember we are talking about toddlers - not tiny babies!)

I nightweaned and also stopped nursing ds to fall asleep. We are still nursing todady and ds is 3 - so it can be done.

anyway - this is what worked for me and I totally realize that this may not work for everyone.

The point of all of this is that now bedtime is our favoriate time. So much that ds's favoriate pretend game is to pretend to go to sleep with his animals, doing the whole routine.

We've also really gotten into reading books at night as part of our routine and I just love this!

Good luck! I know how hard this is!
 

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"One other thought: It seems to me that for AP parents, CRYING is to be avoided at all costs (it has been in my house) -- not that we don't let ds feel his sad or angry or hurt feelings, but extended crying jags related to sleep have been avoided like the plague! But you know, people who nightwean experience some crying, and happily report that their children are not adversely affected -- and I believe them that their children's trust has not been violated -- so why it is that we couldn't have a little crying as we try to learn to fall asleep?

I know, I know, there's a fine line that none of us want to cross, but I guess I'm wondering if we all aren't so afraid of the crying that we haven't really given our babes a *chance* to learn to fall asleep. (flames may fly for that one!)"

Breathe - I was really confused when DS was around 18 months and nothing was working. I was deathly afraid to let ds cry even a little bit thinking that the AP police were definitely going to crash in and take me away.

I read "The Aware Baby" and also "Tears and Tantrums" (I think that is the title) by Aletha Solter. In these books she talks about how cathartic it is to cry and that since babies, toddlers and children don't know how to communicate their stress, the *need* to cry. They also need to be able to cry in a safe environment with loving arms around them.

Once I grasped that concept, I realized that ds (and now dd) sometimes just needs to get it out before they can sleep. It is really hard to hear your baby cry, but if you can accept it as just stress relief, it is amazing how quicly they get over it and then go to sleep or whatever.

I agree with you, The Sears Book (and this board at times) seems to lead you to believe that if you just BF, Family Bed, Baby wear that all will be well. It hasn't turned out that way completely, but still I would rather be here then over on the mainstream street.

Keep up your routine....life with children is one long weaning process, we do it slowing with love.
 

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Chaka - {{{{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}} I know exactly what you are going through and I have had those nights to often.

yes, it seems like yelling does sometimes get us over the hump. I hate it and I vow everytime to never do it again, but I am still really struggling with it.

I sometimes really worry that what I am doing is worse then if I had just sleep trained at 4 months.

It just can't be good to have yoru child feel such animosity towards them over something that should be so calming and relaxing.

and you know how if you someone says, "don't think of a pink elephant" you can't do that. It 's the same thing with going to sleep, the more I push ds to fall asleep, the harder it is for him to fall asleep.

Tonight I just decided to start to say what I was felling, "I'm feeling really frustrated and tired and I just want you to go to sleep and cuddle with me. Please, just go to sleep."

Well I though ds was asleep, so I got up with dd and came out to the living room and got some soy ice cream and just as I was about to sit down, ds came out and saw me diving in to my "pity treat" and said, "i get spoon!"

I just gave in, he sat by me and ate some of the ice cream, then I put it away and he fell asleep laying on the couch.

Oh well.

When I start to feel like this, it's a sure sign that I need a day off - like a full 8 hours of not having to tend to children....one can hope.
 

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I am right there with you! Quiet time is so critical and I am getting almost none!

No wonder I rely so heavily on the damn TV - and the guilt from that is almost as crazy-making as the no sleeping!

Our whole schedule has gone to hell in a hand basket. tonight, DD fell asleep and I put her in her crib at 8 - then it took another 45 minutes to get DS into bed and peacably as possible and then dd woke up, so I needed to nurse her down and it was 9 pm before I could get some me time. DS is 3 - no naps ever anymore an dDD is 8 months and only took a 30 minute nap this AM and a 45 minute nap this afternoon - both times with me holding her! - egads - feeling like I'm going to lose it.

OK - thoughts about Dr. Sears - i think that before we have children, we all probably got a little high off of the AP good vibes - but there is a reason why sleep training and schedules are so popular - parents go crazy and it is crazy-making thinking to not be able to have some breaks from our children.

We don't live in small hunter-gather communities. That is kind of my beef with The Continuum Concept - we don't live in small villages with dirt floors and no electricity.

It's up to us to create an AP lifestyle that works with in our culture. How can we do that?

It may mean making some compromises. For me, it was night-weaning at 2. I also just bought a crib, because my 8 month DD is to active for me to just leave her on the bed and I want to be able to spend some time with DS without worrying that dd is going to fall off the bed.

So she nees to learn to nap in her crib and she needs to sleep for longer than 45 minutes. At least once a day. This is about the whole family now....it always was, but when in was just DS, it was easy to forget about my needs or dh's.

OK - I need to go veg....jeez - I just had to re-type "veg" three times because I c ouldn't get it spelled right.
 

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nak...

our schedule has been all out of whack so all sleep has been off. i swear it is the keeping of the routine that is so critical....

about naps - i thought the same thing - that if we gave up naps ds wouldf sleep worse at night....for sleep fighters there is atransition, but after that sleep is actually better - ds sleeps all night - falls asleep within 30 minutes - itsan adjustment - but well worth it - more later...

about new babies - i screwed the pooch - there is a window of opportunity between 4 months and whew\n the can crawl to instil some good sleep by yourself habits - i missed it....more later...
 

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Ok - I know - the thought of not having a break during the day by way of a nap is really a scary idea. I resisted it as well. But the struggle to try to get ds to nap, doing the bear hold, causing a 45 minute tantrum, for him to only fall asleep for 45 minutes, then wake up cranky because it wasn't enough sleep and then not fall asleep easily at bedtime - well - what kind of break is that?

Once we transitioned and DS could stay awake all day - at about 5:30 we had dinner and by 7 pm, DS is *Tired* and wants to go to bed - happily marches into his bedroom. And then I have several hours to myself. A huge break - and no guilt to go with it.

I would have to say - that some day your child is going to stop napping and you will have to find other ways to get your breaks. You may have to hire a babysitter or amother's helper.

When I was pregnant and had decided the getting kicked in the gut was no longer an option at nap time (he really fought it!) what I would do is go into ds's bedroom, make the room dark, give DS some toys, turn on my hypnobirthing cd and just relax on his bed. He was welcome to cuddle with me, but that was it. I would not interact with him, except to say that it was rest time. I could usually get through my hypnobirthing CD without much fuss and I was rested.

My son was 2 years 3 months when I gave up the ghost of naps. If your child is younger, that may be too premature. For me it was the guilt that I may be permanently damaging my child by holding him down to get him to sleep.

It just wasn't worth the battle....
 
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