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Discussion Starter #1
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<div>Theo has been killing me slowly for 2 solid years now.  I had a miserable pregnancy, a semi-violent fast birth, he cried 4-8 hours out of the day for the first 10 months (when he started walking he cried less, but still has a couple days a week of crying 2-4 hours), I was suffering from PPD that I dismissed for almost a year as sleep deprivation, and the child doesn't sleep.  We swaddled him for over a year.  </div>
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<div>I know that sleeping through the night is not  necessarily something to aspire to early on with a baby, but Theo has <b>never</b> slept more than 5 hours in a row (and the only times he has done that are the handful of times I have given him Benadryl out of desperation).  He typically sleeps 2 or 3 hours, wakes for 15 min to a couple of hours, and repeatedly wakes through the night screaming.  He is difficult to settle, often wakes Eden, and I am having a hard time even liking him!  I have stopped nursing him during the night because that was making me dislike him more.  He naps sometimes (every other day, maybe 10- 45 min).  He has never taken a morning nap (even when he was a little baby).  Today he didn't nap at all.  I figured out that on average, he is getting 7 hours of sleep a day!  That can not be enough!!   From what I read, the average 18 month old gets 13 hours.  When he does sleep, he is wild!  He thrashes, kicks, moans, and generally doesn't stop moving.  It doesn't look restful.</div>
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<div>I guess, what I want to know is how can I help him rest?  Awake, he is wide open and super active.  He is generally happy (except for the crying times that turn off and on fairly suddenly) and curious.  He participates in everything we do and communicates well (though not verbally, he signs a lot and follows 2 part commands).  I feel like I am somehow failing him, like he has some need I am not meeting.  The actual bottom line, though is I haven't slept in 2 years.  I need sleep.  I need to like my son, I need to be rested so I can be nice to my family and so I can like sex again!</div>
 

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<p>Have you looked into food allergies at all? I'm doing an elimination diet with my 19mo bad sleeper and I <em>think</em> I'm starting to see some sleep improvement. The mamas in the Allergies forum are very helpful and know a ton about food allergies.</p>
 

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<p>I have thought about that.  My daughter was allergic to milk and rice (still has the rice allergy) and their dad is allergic to a lot of things.  I honestly don't even want to think that that could be the problem.  I don't think I have the energy to go through the elimination diets/ food avoidance again.  Just thinking about it makes me want to cry.</p>
 

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<p>I know! I avoided the decision to do an elimination diet for a long time because we were already vegetarian and mostly egg-free and I wasn't sure I'd be able to find a lot to eat if I cut more stuff out. But then DD got a rash that wouldn't go away, so I decided to start by eliminating dairy. It did help the rash but not sleep too much, so this week we are going ahead and eliminating gluten too. I'm going to have to learn a new way of cooking for at least a while until we're sure if it's helping or not, and that is a huge sacrifice because I love cooking and baking and have been used to doing it the way I like to do it. There is no way I could do a total elimination diet, but so far taking out one thing at a time is doable. And since we stopped gluten a few days ago, my DD has taken long, easy naps for three days in a row, which is completely out of the ordinary for her, and has been waking somewhat less at night. I'm trying not to get excited about it, but if it works it will be worth having a really restricted diet. Like you I have had that feeling of being sucked dry for basically DD's whole life (although she is awesome and I totally adore her, obviously), and I would go through a lot to feel more balanced on a daily basis.</p>
 
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