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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there Mamas. I need to vent a little and get whatever words of wisdom are out there for me. My dd, 2.75 yo, is not sleeping! At least, not as much, as soon, or as easily as I need her to. I know this is a normal part of the process, but I gotta tell you, I'm starting to lose my marbles over it. I am a single WAHM, with basically no help most days, and she's not in day care or anything at this point. So when we get to the end of the day, I really, really need her to go down so I can get stuff done and get a break.

I have reached a point of no tolerance for her not going down at the time I plan for. I know this is a problem with my plan and not with her, which makes me feel trapped and enraged. I have started yelling at her, which of course doesn't help at all and only serves to alienate her and make me feel horribly guilty, so not a good solution. I know that much, but am unable (in my sleep deprived and wrought up state) to come up with or implement a better plan.

I'm also wrestling with all sorts of uncertainties about how to handle various problems that are arising as she's getting older: tantrums, whining, the dreaded 'NOs', general oppositional stuff. It's all part of what she's supposed to be doing at this age, but somehow knowing that doesn't make it easier to deal with
. I was so good at the baby stage; I loved every minute of it, literally, and I had this whole big-picture thing going on where I realized the sleeplessness and sore nipples and everything were temporary and so worth it -*I would really like to recapture that now. I find myself doing and saying things I don't feel good about, out of desperation and frustration.
 

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Hi mama, first of all biiig hug of sympathy/empathy from here! I can so relate to the rage and frustration, and NEEDING her to go down...here too.
First, this board has a "nighttime parenting" forum that might be a good place to search. Second, this board also has a "gentle discipline" forum that could help with some of the other issues you are having.

I don't have any magical things that will work, but what I have been learning with my dd is that I am too "nice" about what she wants to do, how she has gone to sleep, etc. and I need to take a little firmer parenting position sometimes. Clear boundaries and stick to them.

A friend on these boards puts her child in his room at bedtime, which is childproofed and has a gate, and tells him nightynight, and he can take all the time he wants to get to sleep and usually plays like 45 min, and then goes to sleep. Sounds ideal to me! Our situation doesn't work like that because we only have one bedroom, one bed, not childproofed. So we are still doing the I lay with her thing. I am not thrilled with it, but most nights it's okay because I'm dealing with a newborn these days and I go to sleep with them. This will need to change later because I'll be a single WAHM too!

good luck, mama. I'm right there with ya!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for the support*-*I can't tell you how much it helps to hear that someone out there understands my frustration. That solution with the childsafe room and baby gate sounds really appealing to me, too. I've tried to come up with a way to do some version of that, but as we're still cosleeping I don't think it will work for us yet either. We've just moved and she's got her own room now, and her bed will be here next week, so I may be able to try it then, but I don't think she's actually going to be ready to sleep in her own bed yet. We'll try it if she wants to, but I think at this point the idea of it is more appealing to her than the reality.

Also, part of what happens is that she wants me to go to sleep at the same time, and she gets quite upset when I tell her grownups don't need as much sleep as kids, etc. I do think there's some genuine separation anxiety going on, made worse by our recent move, which was a HUGE transition and involved nearly 3 months of staying with different people because we couldn't get into the new place yet. So she deserves to be having some sleep problems; I just wish I were having an easier time helping her through it!

Tonight we went out to a beach party, she got to swim, dance, run around, and go to bed late and exhausted - and she still had a hard time settling! I think it's turned into a bit of a power struggle (I did much better tonight about not engaging in that part of it. I was trying for calm, firm, and loving, and I may not have gotten it perfectly, but lots closer), plus the fact that her nap is getting very erratic, either because she's getting ready to give it up or because of the chaos in our lives lately, plus general stress of moving and not having our routines fully set in yet.

Anyway, thanks for the ears and the support.
 

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Do you have a nighttime routine? This is what finally got our DS (still cosleeping) to start falling asleep on his own... It starts out with bath, jammies, teethbrushing, reading books. Then I say goodnight and I'll check back on you in a little bit. Then I do check back on him. Eventually he is asleep. He doesn't necessarily have to fall asleep that instant, and he gets caught up in looking at books (we leave the light on for him until he falls asleep). Richard Scarry's Best Storybook Ever is his favorite because there is so much to look at... he'll happily page through the book until he falls asleep.

take care
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We do have a rock-solid bedtime routine, and I think part of my frustration and bewilderment is that it's not working like the charm it used to, either because she's growing and it needs to evolve, or because the disruption in our lives lately has been too much for the routine to contain (or both). I'm so locked into the routine that if it doesn't work, or if it gets thrown off kilter I'm not very adaptable. (In fact, I think one of my challenges as a mother is to be less rigid in general).

Things went smoothly tonight, because she was wiped out and fell asleep before we got through the routine, but it's becoming clear to me that we need to work our way into dd being able to tolerate falling asleep without me lying with her the whole time. This will be a long term project, because she is still quite dependent on my being there with her and isn't going to take to it like a duck to water. When we get her new bed (hopefully tomorrow!) and have a logical reason to experiment a bit I'll start trying to move that direction.
 

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A friend recently loaned me "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" by Harvey Karp, and I paged through the section on sleep. A few of his suggestions might help you. He talks about the problem that you're having -- getting them to fall asleep without you lying there forever. He talks about slowly working your way out of the room in little increments, like starting to sing Twinkle Twinkle, then saying, Oh, I have to go grab a drink of water, I'll be right back. You leave for one minute and come back, resume singing. Then 5 minutes later you say you forgot to turn the dishwasher on, or whatever, and leave and come back. You do this nightly for a while, gradually increasing the time that you are gone. Eventually they get OK with you being gone, and knowing that you'll come back (because you will! especially if you co-sleep), and they fall alseep on their own.

Of course, this is all his idea, I haven't tried it. But I could see it working for my DS, especially since we have a newborn and he understands me needing to go do something for the baby.

 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AugustineM
He talks about slowly working your way out of the room in little increments, like starting to sing Twinkle Twinkle, then saying, Oh, I have to go grab a drink of water, I'll be right back. You leave for one minute and come back, resume singing. Then 5 minutes later you say you forgot to turn the dishwasher on, or whatever, and leave and come back. You do this nightly for a while, gradually increasing the time that you are gone.
This is exactly what we did and it worked. (We didn't do it based on what we read in a book though, but its validation that it works for others as well).
 
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