Thursday, January 13, 2011

For the love of all things holy, AP moms, please help me.

I'm going to try to be coherent, but I haven't gotten more than a couple hours of sleep in a long time, and last night Zofia never let me go to bed.

Night time has never been an easy time for me as a parent. My kids rule me. I have always co-slept with my 3 year old and still do even now that Zofia, 7 months, is here. I tried having her in the same room with us and she just didn't sleep. The ladies fed off eachother's energy and just stayed awake, so I put Zofia in her crib in her own room and she slept much better.

Until now.

I can't get her to lay down. She nurses to sleep and then when I go to put her to bed, the second she feels her back hit the mattress SHE GOES NUTS. Screaming, flailing, rolling, coughing. It's horrible. So I pick her up, she stops, goes back to sleep, I lay her down, screaming, flailing, rolling, coughing. Repeat this scenario 50 times.

Here are the things going on:
1. Teething.
2. Just getting over a cold.
3. Just figuring out how to sit up and feels that laying down is for losers.

What do I do? I've never let a baby cry it out (as suggested by my husband and many others) and am really uncomfortable with that. How long, if at all, do I let her cry and try to fall asleep? Is this a common phase? Do I just ride it out and let her sleep on me?

I feel like I'm going to fall asleep standing up..... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

18 comments:

meganboley.com said...

I have no advice. But I have internet hugs. Hope a wise mama had some things for you to try. Best of luck.

the grumbles said...

i need to think about this one before i respond. i'll be back. (not that i can promise my thoughts will be super-awesome or helpful)

Ky • twopretzels.com said...

(I'm thinking about this, too. However, I'm super pregnant and don't know what an "AP" mom is. Can you tell me?)

Penelope said...

Here via the grumbles. My son, now almost six, was the same way. I co-slept with him for awhile and when we made the necessary transition for him to his crib (to help his sleep) he reacted in similar fashion.

The one thing I found that really worked was to stand in his room, rubbing his back for as long as necessary, without holding him or talking to him. Basically, I will give you the comfort of mama's touch for as long as you need (like, sometimes an hour and a half) but crying isn't going to get you anywhere and I'm not going to stimulate you.

It took about three weeks, but once he got the idea that this pattern wasn't changing and that mama wasn't going anywhere, he was fine. I will say that teething wrecked any patterns we had, so that could definitely be a short-term issue.

Hope this is somewhat helpful!

Biscuit said...

YES, it IS common, happened to me too. W was an AWESOME sleeper from birth, then BAM - screamyface. I was extremely uncomfortable with the "cry it out" method (still am), but someone forced me to try and it saved my sanity. I started with 15 minutes, then a soothe, then 20 mins, then a sooteh if not working, and so on. THIS IS NOT TO SAY that I just la-di-da'd around the house while he sat screaming his throat dry, I was right outside his door, leaning against it, bawling, just wanting to rescue my baby.

I called his doctor, talked to MY moms, aunts, grandmothers, etc, and they all said it wasn't hurting him, and if I wanted to get his rhythms adjusted it was just something we would both have to suffer through. One day, after a good 20+ minutes, he. just. stopped. He stopped, and he napped for FOUR HOURS. MY GOD DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD i SLEPT ON THE COUCH DURING THOSE FOUR HOURS?!

Now, he's a man-boy (2 y.o.), sleeps in a race car, yet still stands at his gate somedays and cries for "mommy bed" but co-sleeping has never been my thing. It's imperative to my mental health that I have some alone time and since I'm a completely single mama, I have to build my alone-time in. He settles himself nicely now, and while he may put up a fight some nights...he DOES know how to relax and just sleep.

You have been having a rough one, I don't know if this helps, since you have a few other factors thrown in, but I hope you can get a little something from it. Keep us all posted, and remember IT IS OK TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST. My mom calls it the "Airplane Rule", you put your mask on FIRST so you are in the best shape possible to take care of baby.

<3

the grumbles said...

what Pen said is exactly what we do with the Jude. I refuse to leave him in there to cry alone, it's just not my jam, but I also don't pick him up. I do backrubs/singing while leaving him in his bed.

we first started having that problem a little older than Zofia, around 7 months, and for a week I slept in his room and would stand at the side of his crib rubbing his back until he started to get the picture. I felt good knowing that he wasn't alone but also didn't give in.

the grumbles said...

bizzles, "airplane rule" is the best thing i've heard all day!

anne said...

I am a little worried because my second is coming soon, and I wonder if we will have similar problems with the boys keeping each other up. But I've been thinking about it a lot, so here are some thoughts I have for you:

* if it IS just a phase, can you try bringing her back to bed with you for a little while, and maybe you'll get slightly more sleep?

* do you have a guest room or alternate mattress? Your husband could sleep with the older one, and you could sleep with the young one. That way they don't keep each other up, and you can give the young one comfort all night.

* Penelope's idea is also a good one. the CIO (cry-it-out) method seems to think that you have to leave the baby all alone for it to be effective, but why not stay there with her 'til she gets used to the crib? Get a nice comfy chair by the crib. :)

We have a very fluid sleeping arrangement, so much so that sometimes the poor kid doesn't know which room to go into for night-night. but we do whatever works at the time. Keep an open mind.

(oh and to ky who doesn't know what an "AP" mom is -- it is "attachment parenting". I had NO IDEA what any of this stuff was before I had a kid either. It took me months after I had him to realize I too was an AP mom.)

Biscuit said...

and by soothe, I meant that I did the back-rubbing-mama-is-here thing too.

I STILL do that today. You know how many times I've woken up in that damn car bed drooling all over myself?!

HOWEVER, when he is just being stubborn I leave him to his own devices. At his age, getting Mama to come in his room and put him back into bed is a game. When I stop playing....so does he. Babies are different, and each baby is SO different.

Sidenote: teething will eff any routine you have, so uh, hang that one up until those suckers bust through.

xzqx said...

Oh I want to add something. we did do CIO with mine when he was about 11 months, because he was sleeping like crap with us. I felt like we really didn't have a choice. He cried for about 40 minutes, I watched TV and set a timer to go in and check on him every 10, my husband constantly reminded me that it was OK. I am not sure I could have done it earlier. I think at that time he was aware enough to understand that we weren't going anywhere, and he had to learn to sleep by himself. And it DID work, for a little while, but then I got pregnant and sick and it was easier for me to just bring him into bed with me in the guest room, and he got used to it, and here we are. So if you do end up CIO, don't feel like you're banishing her to the crib forever.

Mary Johnson said...

I am so glad you posted this... I am having the same issue but my bebe is almost 10 months now and all though I need to get her in the crib for mine and my husband's sake... I have been struggling... she screams until she hyperventilates sigh. Reading all the other comments (I, also, did not know I was an AP parent until months later) has given me more confidence to try letting her CIO for nothing more then the "airplane rule"

Good luck!

Ky • twopretzels.com said...

(Ah yes, AP mom. Attachment Parenting. I forgot the acronym. I'm really pregnant. I apologize.)

Is there any way to put her back to bed BEFORE she falls asleep nursing? As in, her eyes are still semi-awake - and maybe you give her a pacifier to self-soothe and then pop her into bed? (As if it's that easy, I know.) But it appears that she's maybe soothing herself to sleep with your boob in her mouth which is semi inconvenient, no? I'm a "put the baby in bed drowsy but awake" kind of girl.

With Lila we did a bit of a shuffle. I'd stand by her crib rubbing her back and "shushhhhhing" her on her WIG OUT days, moving her hair out of her eyes, etc. Then slowly, I'd just sit in the chair in her room and still shush her. She'd look over and see me and be fine. Then, I'd move toward the door slowly. Finally, she got the hint.

(Crying STILL happened every now and then... but it made ME feel better knowing that I was in there and I think it made her feel better, too.)

It was REALLY ugly when we she was going through the, "You're not going to pick me up, are you?" phase. SCREAMING a lot. But, we both stuck to it. I can BE in here. But I won't PICK you up.

NOTE: When she's over-tired or over-stimulated and just not cool with going to bed, I DO let her cry. But when I say, "I let her cry" I literally time it. I'm not known to get past 10 minutes. I just can't.

--

Now, in our house? All bets are off during sickness and teething. I will still march into that room and hold her and rock her. However, after a couple of days when I know she's feeling better... I always wonder if I made the situation worse by getting her out of her bed, because she always sort of expects it for a few days post-sickness or post-teething.

A sleep routine is HUGE in our house. Bed time doesn't change. It's between 7-7:30 p.m. EVERY night (unless we're out and about... in which case, not going to bed at the regular bed time is OK. Flexibility is a good thing for us.) But when we're home (which is pretty much every night) we have a pattern. Lila knows what to expect. We know what to expect. She literally ARCHES her back toward her crib when it's bed time because it's her happy place. And, truth be told? I need that quiet time sin (without) Lila in order to be ready for her in the morning. Everyone is happy.

Good luck and I am so sorry that you're so exhausted.

I am terrified at what Baby Girl 2011 is going to bring our way.

Ky • twopretzels.com said...

(Ah yes, AP mom. Attachment Parenting. I forgot the acronym. I'm really pregnant. I apologize.)

Is there any way to put her back to bed BEFORE she falls asleep nursing? As in, her eyes are still semi-awake - and maybe you give her a pacifier to self-soothe and then pop her into bed? (As if it's that easy, I know.) But it appears that she's maybe soothing herself to sleep with your boob in her mouth which is semi inconvenient, no? I'm a "put the baby in bed drowsy but awake" kind of girl.

With Lila we did a bit of a shuffle. I'd stand by her crib rubbing her back and "shushhhhhing" her on her WIG OUT days, moving her hair out of her eyes, etc. Then slowly, I'd just sit in the chair in her room and still shush her. She'd look over and see me and be fine. Then, I'd move toward the door slowly. Finally, she got the hint.

(Crying STILL happened every now and then... but it made ME feel better knowing that I was in there and I think it made her feel better, too.)

It was REALLY ugly when we she was going through the, "You're not going to pick me up, are you?" phase. SCREAMING a lot. But, we both stuck to it. I can BE in here. But I won't PICK you up.

NOTE: When she's over-tired or over-stimulated and just not cool with going to bed, I DO let her cry. But when I say, "I let her cry" I literally time it. I'm not known to get past 10 minutes. I just can't.

--

Now, in our house? All bets are off during sickness and teething. I will still march into that room and hold her and rock her. However, after a couple of days when I know she's feeling better... I always wonder if I made the situation worse by getting her out of her bed, because she always sort of expects it for a few days post-sickness or post-teething.

A sleep routine is HUGE in our house. Bed time doesn't change. It's between 7-7:30 p.m. EVERY night (unless we're out and about... in which case, not going to bed at the regular bed time is OK. Flexibility is a good thing for us.) But when we're home (which is pretty much every night) we have a pattern. Lila knows what to expect. We know what to expect. She literally ARCHES her back toward her crib when it's bed time because it's her happy place. And, truth be told? I need that quiet time sin (without) Lila in order to be ready for her in the morning. Everyone is happy.

Good luck and I am so sorry that you're so exhausted.

I am terrified at what Baby Girl 2011 is going to bring our way.

Ky • twopretzels.com said...

Apparently the post I just wrote was too long. Just emailed it to you.

Ky • twopretzels.com said...

And since I'm feeling particular feisty today, I'll say it: Cry it out BLOWS. For everyone involved.

In my email I wrote to you I included the only time when we do it...

Nadja said...

Friends, family, new friends, let me just tell you...even before I try anything new tonight I'm feeling better. Just having the support has made me feel more sure of myself. It's amazing what a kind word, even if it's online and from a stranger, can do for your well-being.

THANK you from the bottom of my exhausted heart. I'll let you know how tonight goes :)

MangaGirl said...

There was another method I read about in a book, but I think your daughter is a bit too young for that. Basically you put her in the cot and do stuff around the room. That way she knows you are there and eventually(it takes a bit longer than CIO) she will go to sleep by herself.

Have you tried co-sleeping with her and putting Athena in her own room?

My 15 months old boy still sleeps with us. Of course some nights I don't get muh sleep. Many nights actually. He's also teething badly and wakes up screaming. I am still BF, so there's no way I could actually get up and go to his room 10 times a night. Not sure for how long I will go on like this, but I know I am not comfortable with the CIO method. Not just yet. We placed his cot next to our bed and took out the side. I put him to sleep in his own cot, but take him in our bad during the night. I found that sometimes, rubbing his back helps, but sometimes he just screams louder and frankly I could not stay awake at 3am trying to sooth him when he goes to sleep in 10 seconds if he has a bit of milk. I haven't had more than 3 hours of sleep in a row for more than 1 year now, so letting him cry at night is out of the question. Hopes this helps and good luck. xoxo

Susan said...

My son went through a similar phase around this same time. For about a month, he would only sleep if he was being held. As soon as we even started to lean over to put him down, he would howl. So, we took turns holding him--my husband and I slept in shifts. Thank goodness for babywearing! Finally, after about a month, a tooth popped through and he's slept much better ever since. Hang in there!