So, while I think I am pretty aligned with almost all parts of AP, my husband is decidedly not. He's gone along with a lot of things- I breastfeed, we wore Beni a lot, and we co-sleep.
The problem is, we've made a lot of changes in our life recently (moved countries, DH got a new job, I quit working to SAH) and DH has had to sacrifice a lot. I don't deny this, and I am very grateful to him. The issue now is that he is feeling completely worn out, and like his life sucks and he wants something from me. He wants to be able to go out at night, without Beni. he wants to be able to be gone at bedtime. She's never gone to sleep without me in her life. I've never left her at bedtime. She's had family member babysitters, but always during the day.
Beni has never been a "good" sleeper. Well, actually, from like 0-4 mos she slept through the night just waking to nurse, no crying, no playing... that was good. Now, at 16 mos, she still nurses more than she eats, and nurses to sleep and any time she wakes at night- which is often. She is still in our bed, so once I go to sleep, it's not really an issue. It is pretty annoying from her bedtime (between 7 and 8 ) until my bedtime (usually between 10 and 12), when she will sometimes sleep for 2-3 hours, and sometimes still wakes and needs to nurse back to sleep every 45 minutes.
So, with my husband on the verge of a breakdown, our marriage on the rocks...I feel like I need to do something toward being able to go out at night. It goes against everything I believe in, except that I believe in my marriage and my family staying together.
Last night Beni managed to fall asleep after nursing (not while- it took about 30 mins) and then slept until 1:30am, which I swear was a record. Tonight, she nursed and popped herself off and fell asleep. Then 45 minutes later, she was awake and looking for boobies. But it had been decided that she wouldn't nurse again until at least midnight. So I went in and held her/patted her while she cried, screamed, pleaded, signed, kicked, thrashed, etc, etc just wanting to nurse. Man, it's going to make me cry again just writing about it. I cried while I was doing it too. (DH by the way can't handle the stress of helping me with this situation right now.)
I am exhausted. Emotionally drained. I was thinking while I was doing that tonight, that I was doing it for my marriage, for DH, but, I would regret it for the rest of my life for my daughter.
Am I just exhausted and being overly dramatic... is there a better, easier way I could be going about this... at 16 mos, it seems like she "should" be sleeping differently than she is...but, in the moment, she's still my baby, and I want to give her what she needs.
I appreciate you just reading, or sharing any supportive words. Thanks.
Last edited by Marite13; 08-22-2011 at 12:23 PM.
Mara & Joel, 2009
DS is younger, but I hope I'm somewhat helpful. DS got where some nights he was waking every 45 minutes to an hour at night. I have trouble falling asleep, so I was getting a very brief nap before being woken again if I even slept at all. I realized something has to change because I had gone beyond the zombie stage! I know not every AP parent believes in this, but I also know quite a few who read The No Cry Sleep Solution and found it helpful. I did find it helpful for ideas and new things to try that works with the way I parent. I discovered that cosleeping was leading to less sleep for my son, so we've recently had to stop cosleeping sadly (yes, I've cried over this and DH thinks I've lost my mind.). DS was used to going down in his crib for the first 1-2 hours at night till I went to bed, but it was hard on him at first to not be brought to my room but to stay in the crib. Some of the changes I made where a more involved bedtime routine, taking every light out of his room at night (surprisingly this helped quite a bit!), and changing what he wears to bed. There are still some nights I'm in his dark room rocking him as he cries and kicks me though. Eventually he calms down and snuggles in to me for sleep. I just remind myself that being there for him is what's important; that I can't solve everything for him as much as I want to.
I haven't ever tried to cut down nursing sessions, but I moved to first wake up rocking, second nursing, 3rd rocking, etc because he was spitting up some from eating too much too often. DH now does the last part of the bedtime routine when he's home. DS doesn't sleep as well as the nights where I do the whole routine, but it's slowly getting better.
Oh, and it's common for kids to wake up a couple of times a night for a few years. As in almost half of 2 year olds wake up 1-2 times at night! That's pretty common to me!
I hope you find some better sleep soon. My husband was never the biggest fan of cosleeping, so he's thrilled DS is out of our bed. It has helped our sex life. lol.
Thanks for your response! The issue isn't so much me not getting sleep- it was being exhausted after that struggle with DD last night.
Good thing is... DH went up to calm her tonight- stepped right up and did it. And it went way easier for him. She still cried, but, I think she gave up quicker, because there were no boobs taunting her.
I really felt bad for her last night and all day today when she was really clingy and wanting to nurse almost non-stop, because I think she was very confused and hurt by why suddenly, i was there, but it wasn't ok to nurse. She knows I go away sometimes- she does ok with babysitters- it's just a new thing during sleep time.
I read NCSS a long time ago, and frankly The Pantley Pull Off was not enough to break our nurse to sleep habit. We are, especially now, with me finding out today that I am pregnant with #2, looking for a toddler bed for DD, and we'll be slowly working on transitioning her.
Mara & Joel, 2009
The pull off method never did much here either! It worked like twice and then not again. Monkey just climbed and found what he wanted with force again! lol.
I hope your husband can keep helping with that. I used to never be able to rock DS b/c he just wanted the boob. If they're well covered now I can get away with rocking him. It's so frustrating!
Thanks. Well last night went even better...I put her down, and made sure she fell asleep after nursing again, even though she protested a bit- it was maybe 5-10 minutes of fussing about, and then she fell asleep while I patted her back. She never woke up until after midnight, after I went to bed. I'm not counting my chickens yet, but it would be awesome if she learned so quickly to just sleep through!
Mara & Joel, 2009
Is she already that old?! Wow... I remember following your pregnancy on BN
Back when this board was more active, I remember people saying that even the nursing toddlers did fine when Mommy wasn't there. That since they knew the boobs weren't there, they didn't cry for them.
(((((HUGS))))) I know how rough having a high needs child is on your marriage! No details in public but just know I've been there...
You know what is interesting... we left DD with my BIL and SIL this afternoon so we could run a bunch of errands. We were rushing back to try to get her before meltdown for nap time...when we got back, she was sleeping. SIL said she just laid her down and laid with her for about 5, maybe 10 minutes, just patting her bottom, and she fell right asleep, without fussing! So yeah... she did just fine! I wonder if it would be the same at night time...
Mara & Joel, 2009
That's a great sign! Yay! Sounds like she may be ready or close to you getting a date night
Just wondering if sleep is going better for you! There's a little more sleep going on in my house so I hope the same is happening for you.
It comes and goes... She went down easy tonight, but woke up after one sleep cycle... now she's sleeping again. I wouldn't say we're really getting any longer stretches. My mom told me the other day that I didn't STTN until I was 18 mos old.
But, at least DH is helping by going up when she does wake, and we've had another conversation and compromised on what a "date" might look like... maybe just happy hour, maybe lunch time date... so, things are progressing, even if not how we would really like...
Mara & Joel, 2009