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So, ds is 13 months and has since his first 72 hours of life been an absolute crap sleeper. Amazingly, dh and I have mostly adjusted (humans can adapt to anything, it seems <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">) and developed some decent coping strategies. I thought I'd start a thread to pass them on, with the hopes that other mommas and daddies can add their two cents.<br><br>
(1) When the screaming commences and it is clear a five-second boobing will not be sufficient, mom should immediately get herself comfortable and calm. If you have to pee, are thirsty, want to turn on the fan, whatever, go ahead and do it. Baby is already awake and upset. You might as well do what you need to do so when (if!) baby ever falls asleep, you're not sitting there for two hours having to pee.<br><br>
(2) turn on a low light and some soft, mellow music with a good rhythm. Some might differ on the light, but I find it darn near impossible to settle ds in the pitch dark. The music is to keep everyone mellow. I've also learned that an agitated parent cannot calm an agitated child.<br><br>
(3) consider removing some of baby's clothing. All the babes I know are super hot sleepers.<br><br>
(4) Try giving baby a clean washcloth to suck on. Easier than a sippy or bottle and gives mom's boobs a break. DS looooves this, I think it also cools him and helps with teething.<br><br>
(5) Pray, meditate, chant, whatever it takes. Remember, parents have the resources and reserves to deal with night waking - otherwise prehistoric man would have put the baby outside the cave with the saber-toothed tiger.<br><br>
(6) Remember that your babe loves you more than anything and wants nothing more than your love and affection. They are NOT doing this on purpose, I know it feels that way but they aren't. Sometimes I force myself to say aloud to ds that I love him, I'm not mad and I forgive him for keeping me awake.<br><br>
I realize this might sound like a lot of hokum, but it has truly helped me, and my family and even my dh who manages to muster up compassion almost every single time ds wakes up.
 

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Good tips! Another great one I've seen is to remove or hide the clock. Somehow it's not *quite* as bad if you don't realize that it's only been 37 minutes since you last did this.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alegna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10709776"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Good tips! Another great one I've seen is to remove or hide the clock. Somehow it's not *quite* as bad if you don't realize that it's only been 37 minutes since you last did this.<br><br>
-Angela</div>
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REALLY good idea!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alegna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10709776"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Good tips! Another great one I've seen is to remove or hide the clock. Somehow it's not *quite* as bad if you don't realize that it's only been 37 minutes since you last did this.<br><br>
-Angela</div>
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I did that and it really works.
 

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These are great tips! I also like to imagine myself 10 or more years in the future, when he is a "big kid" and think about how I will probably miss these long midnight cuddle-nurse-rocking sessions with sweet little crying babe.
 

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I would add a few to these wonderful tips (and thank you for posting those -- I wish I'd known them early on!!!):<br><br>
- Try a small nightlight lamp. They sell them in many places (we got ours at Hobby Lobby for cheap). Put it up high enough so you can use it for the lightsource when changing an infant's diaper at night. It's a really soft light but easier to see by than a nightlight plugged into the wall. It's also easier to turn off and on than a floor/wall nightlight when you're holding an infant.<br><br>
- Get a solid presleep routine that you can fall back on when baby does wake at night. The younger the baby, the shorter/simpler the routine. Include in the just-before-sleep part of the routine calm activities that focus on motion and comfort.<br><br>
So for instance the last part of our routine was walking around singing softly in our room, then rocking in the glider while she nursed. When she woke at night and it was obvious she was up for a while, I'd get in the glider and nurse. If that didn't settle her, I'd get up and walk around the room. Once she resettled, I'd get back in the glider, then back in the bed.<br><br>
- Try to focus on those two things (motion and comfort) in the middle of the night and if possible, don't leave the sleep room. For us, leaving the sleep room (or turning on overhead lights) indicated TIME TO WAKE UP! Which is the last thing we wanted. But going from this to this to this to that and trying numerous things did not work. It ended up making her overstimulated and more difficult to fall back to sleep.<br><br>
Pick just a few things that fit the motion/comfort need and focus on those. And stick with them. Don't go nuts trying new different techniques at 3am as that can cause you and the baby to become more frustrated.<br><br>
- Give yourself a mantra or affirmation to focus on when you're getting frustrated. I pictured letters on the wall that said, "Be patient, Mama" and so on. I actually at one point was tempted to pain them on the wall in glow in the dark paint. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> But imagining the words helped.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">Painting letters on the wall!<br><br>
My newest little one is only 3.5 weeks old, so we are right in the middle of that sleep deprivation. Somethings, (in addition to the advice already given) we do are:<br><br>
I go to bed EARLY. Like 7:30, or whenever babe falls asleep the first time. This is a HUGE adjustment to me, since I like having time alone in the evening and staying up a little later to read, sew, or crochet. It's hard to put my 'me' time out of sight for now, but I know it's just for a time. It's also been hard on my toddler, who is very attached to her mama. However, she is finding things to do with her daddy, and while they aren't things *I* would rather her be doing (like watching movies<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I know, again, it's just for a time, and things will get back to normal in a while. I have had to let go of a lot of things regarding my older child in order to get the rest I need to parent effectively.<br><br>
I keep a pouch sling next to the bed, so when the little one is having a hard time, I throw it on and slip her in there quickly before she starts crying. I get up and walk around the (dark) house for a while which seems to settle her down. I like the pouch because when the little one falls asleep, I can lay down with her and not have to take it off. I don't think a wrap or ring sling would be as comfortable, but a pouch is pretty thin and non-intrusive.<br><br>
Get a few GOOD books. I've read 3 novels in the 3.5 weeks since dd2 was born. One was almost 1,000 pages long. I have a small book light and when she is nursing for hours at a time, it helps to pass the time.<br><br>
I keep water bottles everywhere, since I often have to get out of bed to walk with her. And little snacks too. For some reason I'm often starved at night.<br><br>
I haven't had to use it yet, but when I'm anxious or fretting about things I can't control, Bach's Rescue Remedy works wells. And it's safe while nursing.<br><br>
HTH!
 

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I'm 11 months in with a crappy sleeper myself. In the past month or so she's started to sleep a little longer at a time (we're up to 3 hours now!!). Hey, it's better than the 45 minutes I was getting before.<br><br>
I agree with all the tips. funny thing is, our power went out about 2 months ago and I never reset my clock. I can't reach behind the bed to unplug it so I put it face down and it's been blinking at my nightstand every since.<br><br>
I have to learn to be more patient with DD. I can get so frustrated ... so thank you for these tips!
 
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