You guys, I am having the WORST day. I feel like the worst mom in the world.
Ok, so ever since Reid was still in the hospital, the ONLY way I have ever gotten him to fall asleep was either by nursing while rocking him or like the car. Which I didn't really mind. I knew about sleep associations, so I kept trying every other "gentle" method I could find to try to get him to start falling asleep "awake but drowsy" or at least replace that sleep association with something a little easier like a pacifier, but no dice. So whatever, I keep thinking that he's young, we'll keep trying, and he'll get it eventually. Except for the past several days (almost a week) even that hasn't been working for him when it comes to naps. Like, I will nurse and rock him on and on, and every time I try to put him down he will pop awake, or wake up before I even try to put him down, so then I have to start the whole process over again. I've seriously been spending HOURS nursing and rocking and trying to get him to nap each day, and he's still not getting enough sleep as evidenced by the fact that he has turned back into a super crank.
Plus, my five year old is now home with me. When he was in school I could maybe have spent that time rocking and rocking Reid, but I can't leave a five year old to his own devices for hours every day while I'm in the nursery rocking and rocking. Luckily my DH has been home so he has taken care of T, but he is taking summer classes that start on Wednesday, so I will be the only parent home with them in a couple of days. Plus I go back to work in two weeks, and I know my daycare lady won't be able to rock him all day. And plus, what if she kicks is out because he won't nap and just cries all day.
So today I've been doing some controlled crying with him to see if I can teach him to go to sleep that way. I go in every 3-5 minutes to reassure him, but I still feel awful. He finally fell asleep after about half an hour of that, but he only slept for half an hour and now he's fussing again. I don't even know what to do, like do I get him up for a while or do some more of this til he takes a decent nap? Geez what an awful day for both of us.
Sorry you are having such a tough time. I really do not have any suggestions because I have been lucky to not have that but my kids are not the longest sleepers either when it comes to naps. I think he is still very young so it may still just take some time to get him out of the habit of nursing and rocking to sleep.
Hang in there
That's super tough, I'm so sorry. Mentally I would not be able to just nurse and rock all day. I've always had a loose schedule with my kids of eat - awake - sleep, that way basically they need to take a nap before they can eat again and I don't nurse to sleep. You could try that - when he wakes up in the morning, feed him first and give him some awake time then when he starts getting cranky again, put him to bed. As long as he sleeps some, when he wakes up, feed him again etc. Judah is a huge cat napper. It seems like he sleeps really bad one day and the next he makes up for it with a really long nap. I think controlled crying is fine. Usually with Judah, I put him down at night and if he fusses I go in, give paci, rock him for a sec or two and leave again and then if he starts fussing again I do the same thing until he goes to sleep.
I think they can learn in time and as long as you aren't just leaving them to cry for hours and hours then you are doing fine!
Aww you are so totally not the worst mother ever! Not even close. I tihnk a lot of babies have to "learn" to sleep and you're doing just fine. I had to let Julie CIO a few times at night. She will be totally asleep and then pop right back up and I had to re-swaddle her and just leave her. She cried and I'd fidget - waiting for a time to go back in there, but eventually she fell asleep. I don't leave her crying for hours or anything, but I had to do something. My mom told me a few weeks ago that her doctor told her if the baby is fed and dry, then they can cry for 20 minutes and then usually calm down and sleep unless something is *wrong*. I think 20 minutes is a bit long to just ...let them sit in there and scream, but sometimes it helps me think that my two brothers and myself were raised that way and are completely fine.
Keep trying mama - you know how Julie is now, I can put her down sleepy and she goes to bed with little to no fuss. Usually. (((HUGS))) And I hope T goes easy on you and that your daycare lady doesn't kick you out. Although, I doubt it'll come to that!!
I'm so sorry! My first was like this and it was exhausting! I finally found something that would get him to sleep "gently" but honestly, it just added to our sleep problems and we had to do CIO eventually anyway. Just keep following your instincs and you guys will make it through it! My only suggestion is that whatever you decide to go with, just keep it consistent. I kept changing my mind with whatever I did with DS and that did NOT help, lol. ((HUGS))
Sorry Alissa. Its rough, I'm dealing with the same. Little man fights sleep, so I nurse, he cries, I try to console and then an hour later he's finally asleep, I try to put him down and bam, he's awake again. And its usually time to nurse again.
Maybe its that we are a whole month behind you ladies, or maybe its because I have no idea what Normal is....but I'm super surprised that you all can get your little ones down so easily.
Eat, awake, sleep is a foreign concept over here. If he nurses, he either sleeps or cries when done. There is NO happy awake time EVER. Ha. I don't even mind nursing him to sleep, is that bad? I do mind him waking up anytime I try to put him down. Its a problem. I'm completely "touched" out, as my friend would say. He is always on me.
Alissa, I have no idea how your dealing with this and a five year old. That seems impossible right now. Hopefully Reid will just get better with time.
So, I tried more controlled crying that night at bedtime (still only for short periods of time), couldn't stand it, it didnt really work, and we haven't done it since. The good news is that he has been going down a bit easier since then though. I think what happened is that his two month shots kind of threw him off schedule for a while, and then he got over tired (like days worth of overtired) which just made things even worse. Since then I have been more strict about keeping more to a schedule and trying to get him down the second he seems tired, which seems to have helped somewhat although I still can't just lay him down awake in his crib, sleepy or otherwise.
Elizabeth, I hope things get better for you soon!
Do you have a swing, and does that work for putting him to sleep?
I also found that sticking to a schedule helps SO much. The past week, Judah had been sleeping all wonky and it was because we were out and about so much that his schedule was getting thrown off. These past couple days he has been an angel, still eating every two hours but being awake and happy for awhile and then napping.