SO many issues, where do I begin?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2007
SO many issues, where do I begin?
3
Mon, 02-08-2010 - 9:45am

I apologize in advance for this being so long and I hope someone can make it through this and offer some much needed advice/suggestions.
I posted a few weeks ago about moving to a new state and a 2 bedroom (from our former small 1 bedroom). I got lots of tips on making sure I didn't make any changes too quickly, suggestions for night weaning, suggestions for a transitional item, etc, and I appreciate all the advice, BUT...things are worse than ever.
First of all, my DD LOVES her new house. She loves the carpeted floors, loves playing in her new bedroom, etc. She has adjusted so well! And, just like before, she could go to sleep in her crib for 2-3 hours, wake up and either have to nurse back to sleep or just come into bed with us in our room. Night before last she made it 5 1/2 hours and I thought FINALLY, after 17 months, she's going to sleep! Well, that was a fluke as last night she barely made it 2 again. 5 1/2 was her longest stretch ever! Usually it's 2-3 at most. DH tries to go in and comfort her, but she just continues wailing and staring at the door (waiting for me to take over). All she wants is to nurse. I've tried telling her "mama milk later" and then putting her back in the crib, but that doesn't work. I don't want to rock her to sleep either because that will just create yet another sleep crutch! I've tried SO many transitional items, pacifiers, sippy cups, etc. to no avail. During the day, saying "mama milk later" tends to work, but not at night. I tank her up during the day. She asks to nurse at least every 2 hours, sometimes more!! I've tried feeding her more solids, less solids, etc. (Solids is a whole other issue since she barely eats anything!!! Another stress).

I'm going a little crazy and I think my DH is too. Starting to resent the fact that she's completely attached to me, doesn't seem at all attached to him and she doesn't sleep STILL making it hard for us to have any alone time.

I need DD to sleep. I need her to sleep in her own room. I need to know what to do to get her there. DH just started a new job and I know all about dads playing a part in taking over night calls and having her cry and wail in his arms, BUT he will be working 12 hour (overnight) shifts and sometimes 24 hour shifts, so that's not going to work. I NEED to be able to do this.

Not letting her cry it out early on AND bringing her into our bed was my mistake and now we're dealing with a 17 month old who cannot sleep more than 3 hours and who cannot sleep in her own bed. I don't want a resentful husband and I don't want to resent my baby.

Please help!
Sarah (mom to LD 17 months)




Edited 2/8/2010 12:35 pm ET by bklynteach
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2007
Mon, 02-08-2010 - 9:51am
Also, I forgot to mention that I was considering getting DD a twin bed (with trundle - for guests at some point). I figured with a twin bed, at least I (or DH) could lay with her to go back to sleep and then leave again. I figure if we're going to do this, we should do it before she realizes she can climb out of that bed and walk over to our room. I don't want this to promote even more night wakings. Ugh. Please, please help
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2008
Mon, 02-08-2010 - 12:26pm

Hi There,

I mostly lurk here but I really wanted to pop in and reply to your post, because I had been there 11 months back.

My DS who weaned (parent led weaning) at 26 months, was exactly the same way that you describe. And I even have a post here and exactly said the same thing "DH is a little upset that he is such a mommy's boy" and guess what, even after he has weaned, he is still a mommy's boy.

The only thing that worked for us was the co-sleeping. And when he was ready (22 months), he had no objections to drink some water in the night instead of nursing. We had tried night weaning very many times before that, but he just wasn't ready and we were just not able to do it.

And even after night weaning he was still getting once or twice in the night for about 2-3 months and only around 24 months he started sttn.

Not to discourage you or anything, but as I have heard often from Carol here, sttn is a milestone and all children will do it when they are ready to.




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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
Tue, 02-09-2010 - 2:15pm

I want to reply, as I have experience with a similar situation.

First of all don't beat yourself up. You didn't do anything wrong. And I don't think you made a mistake by not doing CIO or by cosleeping. In fact, I think you were doing a very good job to respond to the needs of your child. You may think, "but other children whose mommy did CIO are STTN now". But the reality is that CIO probably wouldn't have worked with your child anyway. That's the way it is with high needs children. I can tell you from experience with my first DD (which is not my bad sleeper by the way) that I thought at one point that we would do CIO and unlike children who cry but settle and sleep eventually ... my daughter began vomiting because she was so worked up. Talk about feeling guilty ... so we left CIO in the trash and have never looked back and have no regrets either.

My now 2 1/2 year old will sleep for about 3-5 hours and then wakes to nurse ... sometimes she will ask for drinkable yogurt instead. But once she has woken she tends to have about 2 hours of nursing / laying down / nursing again / laying down, etc. My DD also has issues w/ solid foods (actually in feeding therapy for awhile) and underwent some swallow tests, etc., because she choked or vomited anytime we tried to feed her until she was nearly 15 mos old.

I have brought up the possibility of reflux and / or food allergies w/ our pediatrician in the past but b/c DD wasn't a big spitter as an infant she always dismissed these. However, in talking with another pediatrician friend and describing the nighttime challenges (she had no idea my 2 1/2 yo still didn't sleep well), she said it sounds like classic reflux behavior. So I'm going back to our doc to talk about testing for it.

My point is ... especially considering she doesnt' like to eat ... that she doesn't have something causing her physical discomfort that interferes w/ her sleep.

Beyond that my older DD was unwilling to night wean (she only nursed once at night though -- and we did cosleep) despite several attempts. And then much like Aparna's story, one day around 22 mos she just took to it. She also continued to wake periodically (and she did continue to cosleep for a few more months). Once she was only waking a few times a week, I moved her to her own room and would stay w/ her (in a double bed) until she fell asleep (actually I think I continued to nurse her to sleep at bedtime in her room for some time ... and then eventually she began to stay awake after nursing and I would rub her back until she fell asleep). Then I'd go rub her back a few more minutes in the middle of the night if she woke. It wasn't until she was nearly 4 that the night wakings completely stopped, although they became more and more infrequent the older she got.

My gut tells me that your child isn't ready. And you're frustrated by it's not helping your situation. You have a high needs child. You didn't make her this way. She was born this way. Perhaps she has reflux or something contributing, but it's certainly not your fault. By meeting her needs you continue to help her grow strong and develop a strong self esteem. And she will eventually not nurse at night. And she will eventually sleep in her own bed. And then one day, you'll actually think, "I wish she needed / wanted me more". I promise. It will happen.

Hang in there. I would highly recommend reading Dr. Sears' writings on sleep as well as Elizabeth Pantley's. They are not overnight fixes, but imo they offer good tips and techniques for easing your child toward the direction you want them to go while also allowing the parent to continue to respond to the child's needs appropriately.

HTH