Author Topic: I can' thandle it. I'm a horrible mom.  (Read 2536 times)

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Offline SEP's Mom

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I can' thandle it. I'm a horrible mom.
« on: August 02, 2005, 16:38:19 pm »
I can take the sleepless nights in the beginning, but this I can't take.  I am so frustrated and losing my cool way too soon.  We have an awesome couple of days and then when he has a bad day and I get so mad because I know he can do better.  This has been going on for 4 months and there are more bad days than good days.  Before that and from time to time, I can lay him down and walk away.  He's 7 months old.  I have the book.  I've followed the book from day 8 so I don't know why I post.  I look at all the other mom's who don't follow the baby whisperer and they don't seem to be having any problems.  So, it must be me.

When I put him in the crib he kicks and rolls around and has a hay day depsite being tired.  I've left him for upto 3 hours thinking eventually he will fall asleep but he doesn't.  He just plays.  He needs to be forced to go to sleep.  So, we swaddle him to keep his arms and legs in.  But then he fights it.  So, we pat/shush.  That sometimes works, but if he breaks through the swaddle, we have to reswaddle and start all over.  I'm good at patting and easing up and stepping back to let him fall asleep on his own, but that can take so long and sometimes it only works if you pat him right to sleep.  Which I think is the source of our problem.

The same thing never seems to work twice.  Sometimes it works best if you put him to bed before he's tired, other times it works best if you put him to bed when he is exhausted and the next time you try that, you should have done it the other way.  Same with swaddling.  Sometimes one arm out works best and sometimes both arms in works best.  It's a big experiment every time.  Trying the different approaches seems to drag out the process. 

How do you pat/shush when your kid is holding his feet and/or flapping about?  Do you pat/shush when they aren't crying, but they are rolling about?  Do you pat/shush when their eyes are closed or they are doing the 7 mile stare, but are still crying? 

I would love to have someone come show me how to do this.  I was at a friend's and her son was so docile in her arms that she just laid him down.  It sometimes took a coule tries, but he went straight to sleep.  I can't get my son to be docile.  He is always looking this way or that way or banging his head against my shoulder or pulling my hair/shirt.  I read a book to him or let him play with just one stuffed animal while I hold him before bed to calm him, but even the book excites him and he wants to grab all the pages.

Any little tips or tricks would be appreciated.

Offline heather10

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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2005, 18:23:10 pm »
First of all, you are not a horrible mom.  The fact that you care to do all this reading and research shows that you want the very best for your son.

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I look at all the other mom's who don't follow the baby whisperer and they don't seem to be having any problems. So, it must be me

You know, I have this thought all the time.  In fact, DH and I argue about this from time to time and he tells me that I need to stop expecting him to be the same every day and allow for variations, and to stop being so *byt the book* but for me it is hard because I am a type A person and I rely on predictability and things being reproduceable, so when my son does one thing one day and it doesn't work the next, I get upset that I can't find that magic bullet that will work every time.

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When I put him in the crib he kicks and rolls around and has a hay day depsite being tired. I've left him for upto 3 hours thinking eventually he will fall asleep but he doesn't. He just plays. He needs to be forced to go to sleep

Does he seem exhausted and crotchety when he lacks sleep like this, or is he fine with it?  Some babies need less sleep, and some need more.  I understand this is a more severe instance of lack of sleep, but not all babies will follow the same sleep regimen and he may just be one of those movers and shakers who is so excited by life and being with mom and dad that sleep is just not something he wants to do.  That may change with time.

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The same thing never seems to work twice. Sometimes it works best if you put him to bed before he's tired, other times it works best if you put him to bed when he is exhausted and the next time you try that, you should have done it the other way. Same with swaddling. Sometimes one arm out works best and sometimes both arms in works best. It's a big experiment every time. Trying the different approaches seems to drag out the process.

I said your exact words last night as I cried to DH on the phone.  I have hard bedtimes and what works one day doesn't work the next.  The thing that DH tells me all the time that always puts things back into perspective is that my son is not a machine, he is not a robot, he will not do the same thing every day, just as you and I don't.  Some days I need to have a warm shower in order to feel sleepy, and other days I don't.  Some days I am tired at 10 and other days I am not tired until 11. Some days I eat more, some days I eat less.  He is a human with variable needs and variable responses.  There may be no magic bullet that works every time, but I find it is harder to see what is right in front of me when I get all worked up and agitated.  That is where DH comes in handy - he can step in with fresh eyes and point out patterns and trends I didn't even see.  I will then try what he says and it will work - for now anyway!

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How do you pat/shush when your kid is holding his feet and/or flapping about? Do you pat/shush when they aren't crying, but they are rolling about? Do you pat/shush when their eyes are closed or they are doing the 7 mile stare, but are still crying?

At 7 months, you can stop the pat/shhh and go to the pick up/put down method.  If you were still to do the pat/shh you would quiet him first before laying him down and get him nice and sleepy first, otherwise you are right, he will just play and roll about.

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I would love to have someone come show me how to do this.
 I was at a friend's and her son was so docile in her arms that she just laid him down. It sometimes took a coule tries, but he went straight to sleep

It is so hard not to compare babies but please try not to.  Your son is an individual with his own internal machine working and may not respond the way your friend's child does.  She will have her own adversities in other areas you can be sure, as we all do at some point.   

You are doing the very best you can,and remind yourself of that every day.  You are such a gift to your son, and he is blessed that someone so loving and caring is in his life. 

You know, I see parents who don't know the BW who are winging it and enjoying their summer while I am cooped up in my house, a prisoner to my son's naps.  My summer is wilting away and I planned for him to come in June so that I could get out and enjoy it - what happened???  Sometimes I think books like this are dangerous to people like me becuase I grab onto them like they are gospel, I can't see past the methods preached, and I become a slave to something that works for others but may not work for me, and in the meantime I am losing my free time, my freedom and my mind. 

Sometimes I envy those people who have no routine, take their baby wherever and whenever and just enjoy life.  I wish I could be like that, but deep down I know that I am being a great mom.
Baby boy - Adam Sean - born June 6, 2005

Offline Ladybird

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I can' thandle it. I'm a horrible mom.
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2005, 18:34:04 pm »
You have some great advice, I am in the same boat as SEP's Mom.

I think you are right that our hard work will pay off in the end, up to the last few weeks I couldnt get Autumn into a stable routine and it was killing both of us (9.5 months of sleep deprivation) and again I was trying to be rigid to the book and getting so frustrated...my dh keeps telling me off and telling me to chill a bit, but when you are at home all day every day with the baby,much as you love her, it takes its toll

I was doing ok until I read that Autumn should only go 3-4 hrs between naps, so tried that today and I have just had the worst 1.5 hours so far, she screamed and screamed through PU/PD and crib soothing until she went to sleep through sheer exhaustion, so you see you are right, what works for some mums isn't necessarily going to work for us,

We just need to judge for ourselves after taking all the advice and adapting it, hard as that is.

Same problem as SEP's mum though with the wind down problem. Maybe it is because they are overtired and gone into overdrive
Autumn Mae Brooke born Oct 12 2004
Evie Louise Brooke born Sept 16 2006

Offline tylersmommy

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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2005, 18:56:54 pm »
First off, you aren't a bad mom! It took me a long time to stop blaming myself for Tyler's idiosyncrasies. It's almost as if I expected him to have read the book too...I got so frustrated (I still do sometimes) but once I learned to roll with the punches, I did a lot better. Tyler was almost 1 when I finally got a little perspective, but it made a big difference in how our days went. So please, please stop blaming yourself! There probably isn't a way to guarantee easy sleep each and every time, so you'll have to improvise. It sounds like you've been doing a great job trying different things...it's totally normal for something to work like a charm one day and fail you the next. Fun, huh? :roll: The one thing you DO want to remain consistent on is the naptime and bedtime routine. These can help cue your DS that it's time to sleep.

Can you post what his typical daily schedule looks like? Is he taking 3 naps or 2? If he hasn't transitioned to 2 naps yet, this may be a sign that it's time. Also, I agree with Heather that you might give PU/PD a try if you haven't already. When he starts to cry because he's been playing in his crib forever and is NOW tired, that's when you'd use it.

I know it can seem like parents who just wing it are having an easier time, and if they are, then they're truly lucky. For now, anyway. Believe me, no matter what parenting philosophy you choose to follow, you will run into rough spots at some point. It's a given. You never know if other parents who seem to be "doing it right" are going to be feeding at night until their baby is 3, if they do CIO and break trust, if they will be stuck using a bottle/breast to put their baby to sleep long after it's time to give it up. The grass may look greener, and if it really is now, it probably won't always be. KWIM?

Your DS sounds spirited, and mine is too. It took me awhile to learn to appreciate that quality in him and accept that he simply doesn't have an "off" switch like other babies. He's 19 mo, and I still have a hard time getting him to sleep on occasion (like now), but we do our best to get through it. Hang in there, and be sure to post back with your routine in case the answer's in there!
Melissa
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Offline Rhiannon

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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2005, 19:09:12 pm »
Hi

My son seems to be the same as yours too, very spirited and not cuddly, on the go all the time, but I wouldn't have him any other way as he is so sociable and everybody seems to love him!! However, they don't have to put him to bed!!

I posted a question on the website (under props as I didn't really know what I was doing!!) this time last week as my son screamed for 45 mins before eventually falling asllep from exhaustion. I could hear him sobbing in his sleep on the monitor and it breaks my heart, but the next morning he was full of smiles, so don't worry, I think spirited babies are also very forgiving! Dee, Maddy's mum suggested trying to wind down a little more so now we read a book and play music. He also tries to grab the pages but as long as he's not crying I leave him to it. I only read for 5 mins at most so he doesn't seem to get too excited about the book. Then I lay him in his cot and he seeems to stop wriggling if he's on his front, I think because he can't reach his toes! I have to put one hand on his pelvis as well as pat his back to try and stop him getting up (not sure if this is strictly aloud, but I rest it there quite gently and just resist a bit if he tries to get up!!). I keep patting until he's pretty much asleep, and he sucks his thumb to soothe himself.

It's early days and still takes 30-40 mins to get to sleep but it's better than the screaming. Don't know if this is any help but I know exactly how you both feel so I felt I had to write something!

Rhi
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Offline heather10

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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2005, 19:16:37 pm »
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I read that Autumn should only go 3-4 hrs between naps, so tried that today and I have just had the worst 1.5 hours so far

Can you explain this to me?  Do you mean from the start of the first nap until the start of the second, or do you mean the time from waking from the first to the start of the second?   

I would imagine that there would only be a 2-3 hour window in between naps, nothing close to 4.

My son used to nap at 9 and 1 every day until he dropped to one nap.  This meant there was only 2 hours between naps since he napped 9-11 and 1-3 every day.
Baby boy - Adam Sean - born June 6, 2005

Offline katejude

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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2005, 21:58:34 pm »
Hang in there Sep's mom.  You're not a bad mother - you are just trying to cope with no sleep.  It feels personal but it's not.  It will get better (I live in hope).
Kate
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Offline Ladybird

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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2005, 22:13:06 pm »
Hi Heather10

I thought it was from end of one nap to start of next because a couple of people posted to me saying that 5 hours from Autumn's last nap to bed was a rather long time and they recommend 3-4 hour awake times

I am going to try and observe her a bit better this week for cues and see if I can make a plan that will suit her, its so hard isn't it
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Offline SEP's Mom

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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2005, 23:11:44 pm »
Heather10 -
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get him nice and sleepy first

We don't know how to do this.  Believe me when I say he is a very calm/content/independent baby, but despite that, like tylersmummy said about her child, he doesn't have an 'off' switch.  He never unwinds.  He's not cuddly, and everything is a game to him.

Ladybird -
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Autumn should only go 3-4 hrs between naps

Simon often gets fussy after an hour and is in bed at that point.  I've tried extending that and have had some luck with keeping him up as long as 4 hours (usually due to circumstances).  It's like there is a very fine line between being tired and overtired which only takes moments to cross.  And then there is another line between being overtired and ready to crash which takes hours to cross.  We are still trying to figure out what is right for him, because if he doesn't sleep well during the day, he doesn't sleep well at night.  He gets up at night more than he used to.  I think once we get a good night, I can see truly how much sleep he needs during the day.

tyler'smommy-
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If he hasn't transitioned to 2 naps yet, this may be a sign that it's time.

Sometimes he has 2 naps, but often more.  It depernds on how well he slept at night, what time he woke up in the a.m., how long it taks him to go down,  and how long his naps are.  He sleeps an average of 4.25 hours and takes an average od 3.5 naps.  I've been keeping track.

A little while ago we had morning and afternoon commitments we had to work around, which was the most scheduled we have ever been.  I'll give an example of that.

6:30 - 7:30 Wake up
8:30 - 9:30 Nap (if he was up before 7:00)
9:30 - 11:00 Busy
11:00/11:30 - 12:30/1:00 Nap
2:00  - 2:30 Nap (if up before 1:00)
2:30 - 3:30 busy
3:30/4:00 - 5:30/6:00 Nap
7:45 - 9:00 Bedtime (somewhere in there.

When our days are wide open I don't schedule his naps.  I put him to bed when he is tired.  That can be anytime.  I've tried scheduling them, but he seems to get tired before the scheduled time.  He doesn't get a full night's sleep.  I'm thinking once he does, I will be able to set them better.  I'd appreciate any recommendations of scheduled nap times.

Offline tylersmommy

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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2005, 00:27:04 am »
My guess is that if you can get this little guy on a routine, that might help you a lot. At his age, some babies are still on 3 naps, but most are transitioning to 2. Although logically it makes sense to try and go on his tired cues, that most definitely did NOT work for us (although it may for you). Tyler's tired signs were inconsistent at best, and that resulted in us missing his window most of the time. Not good. This is what worked for us...consistent wind down routine every single time. We'd take him upstairs for quiet play (books or no noisy toys) for about 20 min, then when it was time, we'd dim the lights, swaddle him (we still swaddle his legs to this day), give him the paci (for sleep only), play a lullaby CD, and rock. He's never been a big snuggler either, and sometimes he'd rock longer than others, but doing it the same every time helped him realize that it was time to sleep. We'd also say over and over "time for night night." It may take awhile for it to click, but I think a consistent wind down routine really helps the spirited types.

As for daily routine, I was a clock watcher because Tyler wasn't big on tired signs. You might check out some of the EASY schedules in the EASY forum and see what works for you. Once you get 3 consistent naps in by gradually increasing awake time, see how it goes. My guess is that you'll move to 2 naps (again, gradually) shortly thereafter. HTH!
Melissa
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2005, 20:56:02 pm »
I agree with Tylersmom with regards to following your los cues and figuring out a pattern so that sleep comes easily.  Everytime dd starts fighting her naps/bedtime, I have to reevaluate her awake time once I've ruled out any illnesses or hunger.  Once I've found the magic times, I stick to them. 

Sep's mom - When dd was around 6-7 mos, I had to reintroduced the swaddled for her naps.  She was just too active - jerking her arms and legs, rolling, banging, etc.  I would let one arm out as she likes to chew on her hand to self-sooth.  I found that pat/sh didn't work anymore and pu/pd would get her too upset.  So I would just cushion her between two small pillows (like a hotdog) and she would slowly fall asleep that way.  Now, she prefers the pillow to be touching her face.  If she is not crying, I don't touch her.  If she refuses to sleep ( after 15 min), then I would try again in 15-30 min.  This usually works. 

Ladybird and Heather10 - as dd is 9 mos, I've found that the awake times or 3hrs, 3.5hrs and 4hrs between wake up and nap1, nap2 and bedtime works.  Of course it took me 4-5 days to figure this out by extending her awake time slowly.  I have to agree with Tylersmom regarding the lack of sleepy cues .  DD used to display her cues but lately she would not show them until I'm halfway through the wind down. So I have to rely on the awake times to start the wind down.   Right now, dd still sometimes take short naps or fights them, therefore the detective work begins again.   :roll:   I agree with Heather10 regarding all babies being individuals and we just have to go with the flow.  I used to go mad wondering why dd is not following what the books say.  But this forum is great as it lets me know that there are variances in all babies' schedules and that is OK. And the suggestions are great in helping me decipher what methods/ways works best for us.