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Ugh! Can't take it anymore!!!

498 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  melixxa
So here's how it goes for us. Dd#2 (7 months old) requires her mommy (aka me) all the time! This includes getting to and staying asleep. This evening I was home alone with both my girls (dd#1 is 3 1/2). This is pretty normal for us b/c dh works 24 hour shifts, so I'm often home alone with them. 7pm rolls around. I put a video on for dd#1 and ask her to wait for me while I put dd#2 down for the evening (ha ha - like she really stays "down").

7pm - nurse dd#2 while lying in bed for a couple minutes, she rolls away from me (she always does this), takes her binky, and I have to roll with her - hovering against her cheek/chest with my face while she proceeds to rip (and I mean RIP) my hair out. After a few minutes of this, she drops my hair, turns towards me and nurses again for a minute. She rolls away, rips hair, drops hair, repeat. Over and over (and over) again.
7:25pm - finally looking like she's falling asleep. Eyes are closed, hair is still gripped tightly btwn her fingers, but she's starting to relax. Dd#1 decides now would be a good time to come in the room, climb up on the bed and look at the baby. She wakes up, I snap at dd#2 (which I know I shouldn't - she just wants attention too) and send her back out of the room, I proceed to nurse & have my hair ripped out some more.
7:45pm - she's asleep! I sneak out of the room.
7:50pm - she's awake! I try the "routine" again but it's not going anywhere. She just wants to look all cute like everything is okay and make me feel guilty that I'm starting to have bad feelings towards her about this!!! I have to leave her unattended on the bed (with support to keep her from falling) while I rush dd#1 to bed. She really could have used my attention, but I throw her in bed, kiss her (she begs me to lie down with her but I can't b/c dd#2 is alone & awake) and I run out of the room.
8:00pm - routine again. Finally seems to work after about 20 minutes.

Ugh! This happens EVERY night (naptimes are no different). And if dh IS home and she wakes up, only I can get her back to sleep (via the hair ripping routine). If he tries to lie beside her she completely wakes up and screams bloody murder. Naptimes are the same. He can actually walk her to sleep (with a bit of screaming on her part) but she often wakes up when he tries to lay her down.

I read the No Cry Sleep Solution and got up to the part where I'm supposed to start my own routine. I think the advice is very sound except when you have another child with their own needs and schedule (like school which happens to always hit naptime for dd#2). I just don't see how I can get anything regular (time wise) happening in my situation. I'm getting lots of headaches from the hair thing (and I already get headaches way too easily so this is bad news for me), I'm totally exhausted (she wakes up about 10 times a night) - I don't know what to do!!!

Sorry - had to vent, but also hoping for some advice! Thanks for listening.
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You want my advice? Give up. I did. And, it finally got a whole lot easier b/c he's older.
My dh helped a LOT w/ds1 but is just busier now and can't do much to help. So, I was totally in your situation. I realized I had to just suck it up and realize this was my last kid and I wanted fond memories. I made/make sure I have plenty of other outlets; ie. twice a week I leave and go ride my bike or drink wine or whatever w/a girlfriend. Regardless. No changes of mind from anyone.
Plus, I have an awesome playgroup where we feel free to whine and snivel.

So, at 19 mos. now, I am feeling like the end is in sight and, yes, I do feel sad.

It WILL happen--hang in there. It's incredibly tough.

Oh, my son does the same hair thing. I tihnk it's b/c he never had a binky. He still goes to sleep w/his hand curled in my hair. But...I can turn my back on him and scoot away as long as he can reach my hair. :LOL

Edited to add: You know, I think when we try new "techniques," they sense we're uptight in some way and react to it.
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When you say "give up" do you mean, "eventually it will get better - wait it out" or "leave her to cry with someone else"??? I'm really thinking that another year of it being like this will drive me batty. I guess the main thing that's bugging me is I feel like I'm not doing her any favors by letting it continue in this way. Yes, I'm there to comfort her, but she wakes constantly and won't go back to sleep without me there. I feel like I'm a crutch and it would be kinder of me to help her learn how to sleep. I do want her to be with me (in my bed - at least for awhile longer) but I want her to be able to sleep soundly whether I'm right there or not. I guess I'd also like her to be able to sleep more or less through the night - perhaps waking up for a feeding half way through. I don't think this is an unreasonable wish - I really think I'm in some way hindering her from learning good sleeping skills. She even now requires me to hover over her in the car before she'll fall asleep in her carseat (of course I can only do this if dh is driving)!!! Anyone???? Help!
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It sucks, I know.
I meant, give up as in accept. For myself, I found that when I thought too much about it, then I'd get uptight and start worrying and then I'd get even more stressed, etc etc. I mean, I literally felt like getting in the car and driving far far away. Waking up every single half hour all night long is hard on a psyche. And, will he do this forever? And, I'm ruining him b/c I'm weak and he'll always be messed up and I should've CIO like all those calm, rested, Mommies, etc.
So, I just made a conscious decision to mellow out and accept it. And, to make sure I had plenty of outlets for myself...even if it was just handing the kids over to dh and reading my book in the tub everynight for an hour.

And, then when he was old enough (18mos for us), I nightweaned him on my own--dh was/is too busy w/work this spring. And, it only took about 2 nights before he went up to a couple of hour stretches. And, in a week he was sleeping almost all night on his own. Well, w/his hand in my hair.

I think what helped me, too, was that my older son was the same way and he is SOOOOOOOOO incredibly happy and independent now at 3 years. I just got a bunch of compliments this morning and yesterday at music & soccer classes from other (CIO) moms.


Oh, edited: the carseat thing is tough. That was my big escape during the day. Buckling the boys in and driving. I wonder if she'd get used to it after a bit. We do big hiking trips everyday and ds ALWAYS falls asleep on the way home and then I transfer him into the house. I know this sounds evil, but I think the car would be the only place I'd let a child CIO if necessary. I don't know-that's rough. My kids adore the car.
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I don't think I would put up with the hair pulling thing. As much as I believe in giving myself over to my babies' needs when they are that young, I draw the line at hurting me. It may make things worse in the short term, but eventually she'll find some other thingy that will help. A stuffed toy, anything.

Otherwise I agree that waiting this out is the best course of really will get better...many, many kids undergo vast changes at around 1 year old when they start walking and becoming more physically active. Then you can "tire them out" as a "help" for sleeping, lol.

My guess is to say that if putting your baby down and keeping her down is such a struggle, forget it. Tend to your older daughter, and maybe try getting baby down after older DD is asleep. Not much will change for baby in terms of amount of sleep, but I'm sure your older DD would appreciate it.
We put our baby down a lot later than 7:30 because we're naturally night owls. I think he has turned out to be one as well. (We'd still be getting up at 9:00 am as usual right now if we hadn't just gotten back from the East Coast and our cadre of early-bird relatives there. As a result, now my boy and I are rising at 7:00, 7:15 or 7:30 - though I'm hoping to extend it more soon.)

What if you and Baby tucked your older daughter in together, then you waited for your baby's cues (tiredness) to put him down? I've found that mine goes right to sleep when he is truly tired out and I leave him to his own schedule - though it may not always be convenient for mine. I'm just wondering if this would work - I only have the one child, so I don't know how amenable your daughter would be to having the baby there during her tucking-in time. But it sounds like it might actually buy her more time with you (though shared), so maybe she would embrace it. Good luck! I hope it gets better for you soon.
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