Author Topic: is this just teething or a new bad habit?  (Read 689 times)

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Offline Lucy's mum1

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is this just teething or a new bad habit?
« on: September 17, 2006, 20:44:45 pm »
My 18 month old dd wasnt a good sleeper from day one and I got into bad habits with her feeding her to sleep etc for a long time and bringing her into bed with us.   Eventually the last 2 or 3 months she has been going to sleep on her own in her cot with my husband (or occasionally me) just sitting with her till she's asleep.  Since she's started doing this, her sleep has improved dramatically - she's gone from numerous wake ups and short naps to sleeping from about 7pm to either 5 or 6am and a 2 hour sleep between 11am and 1pm. 

One problem we have now though is that she often refuses to go to sleep if I'm there rather than my husband. We had decided he should be the one to train her to sleep on her own to help separate her going to sleep from the breastfeeding. But now what seems to have happened is that she's needs HIM in the room to go to sleep rather than me, its like another dependency. She is also fine with my mum who looks after two days a week but when I'm with her and put down in her cot to sleep, most of the time she just screams and asks for another book or to go in my bed. It drives me crazy because as I'm often up very early with her I desperately need the break in the middle of the day and also I want her to sleep otherwise she just gets so overtired.

I'm still breastfeeding once a day in the morning and I must admit its usually at about 5 or 6 every morning when she wakes. I bring her into bed and feed her just to give myself a chance to wake up properly as I'm always so tired and also I have to admit to see if she will go back to sleep.  My husband thinks I'm giving her mixed messages as she occasionally does fall asleep again on me then so I suppose when I put her down at other times she's still expecting to be fed to sleep- do you think this could be right?  I'm really ready to give up breastfeeding but am finding it tough as she is so aware now, she kind of demands it and I'm at my weakest at 5 or so in the morning!!

Anyway the last 2 or 3 weeks its got worse because from effectively sleeping through but waking early she has started waking again in the night.  Sometimes its just once and she easily settles and other nights she's gone back to sleeping through but there have been a couple of nights where she's been up for 2 or 3 hours straight and inconsolable and we've then ended up feeding her and a few nights where she's woken briefly but repeatedly all night. She's only got 8 teeth at the front but last week her top two eye teeth broke through after 2 particularly bad nights. It looks like her molars are about to come out too. So I guess my second question is could all this reverting back to lots of wakings or long night wakings be down to teething or am I just falling back into bad habits?  I know she appears to have been teething a lot and I suppose all the teeth could be coming at once but is it possible to cause all this disruption or is she just trying it on with me?!!!

any help would be very much appreciated!

Offline Florencia

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Re: is this just teething or a new bad habit?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2006, 17:14:34 pm »
Hi Lucy's mom!

I'm sorry you girls are going through such a hard phase. To answer your main question, yes I think that teething can throw every sleep training advance through the window. It can switch an angel baby for a really grumpy one. I've seen cases around here where all the molars pop out at once (as your case appears to be) and the sleep goes to hell. She's too young to manipulate you, I think if she's waking for 2+ hours at night, it is clearly something bothering her. She might be in horrible pain, so I'd suggest you to try pain meds approved by your ped before bed and in the middle of the night if she happens to have a bad night waking (one with hysterical cries etc). Check also with your ped the dosage cause she might be needing a 2yo dosage instead of a 1yo. That should help you with the long night wakings.

As for going down, I think you did a successfull sleep training but got stuck in the middle of it. I understand how hard it is and how vulnerable we are first thing in the morning (especially with such an early morning!) but I think that you're only missing the last step and it will be so worth it even if you have to have a couple of rough weeks. Your husband's right, she's getting mixed signals, cause she knows what to expect from grandma and dad, she knows she won't get the breast so she's ok with it, and it is extremely important that she gets the fact that she will get loving and nurturing from you in other forms different than your breast, cause you're the person that spends the most time with her, so she should be able to go down easily for you more than anyone.

You can stop cold turkey from feeding her and taking her to your bed. Stay by her side in the crib, you can do that either standing there patting/reassuring her once she wakes or you can go back to sleep (if you can!) in a blow up mattress/sleeping bag. LEt her know those early hours in the morning are for sleep and make sure she's not in pain either that early in the morning (the meds might have worn out by then) or when going down for her nap (she might need another dosage then). I think you're facing a mix of pain (and the clingyness and upsetting it brings along) and remains of the accidental parenting you did in the past.

Fortunately it looks like you guys have come a long road and i don't think it'll be hard to settle her if you remain consistant for a couple of weeks and have her in the right dosage of meds. Once the teething stops it will be more easy (if not, not necessary) to continue sleep training her.

Good luck, HTH and keep us posted!
Mom to Manolo, spirited monkey and Jose Miguel, an angel cupcake

Offline Lucy's mum1

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Re: is this just teething or a new bad habit?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2006, 21:19:56 pm »
hi thanks so much for your advice and for taking the time to help us. I think you have really hit the nail on the head.  You're right, we've come a long road.  When I think back to how it used to be, it was a lot worse.  I think once we had NEARLY sorted it a few months back I was just grateful for that and kind of gave up with the rest and have been left with these awful early mornings. 5am is just a hideous time to start the day! Then the teething has come on top of that and I feel like we're almost back to square one. But it is a relief in a way to know that teething can cause all this disruption.  She has always suffered with teeth coming through but never as bad as this but I think like you say she seems to have lots coming at once which must be horrible. 

But you're right, I need to put in the extra effort just to sort out these final problems bringing her into bed with us early morning etc which arent helping. I'm sure she will get a bit better once the teething's gone - when she wakes in the night at the moment its at random times so I dont think its just habit or anything. Last night she only woke once at 4am for a few minutes which wasnt too bad.  I know people posting on this site are facing a lot worse - I was there once too. I think I really need to set aside a clear week or two and get lots of early nights to face the sleep training again. I think I'd find WI/WO too hard until I've got the breastfeeding/ other issues sorted so will sit by her like you suggest.  I must say the reason I love the Baby Whisperer advice is that I've always hated the idea of leaving her to CIO.  PU/PD worked wonders for us so I'm sure the toddler methods will work just as well. fingers crossed  :) We're away this weekend so I dont want to start anything then but we will start next week when we get back. 

Thanks very much for your help and i'll let you know how we get on!
Sara


Offline Florencia

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Re: is this just teething or a new bad habit?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2006, 18:21:06 pm »
Good luck then. I think it's really wise to wait till you are ready to start again. Will see you around next week! :-*
Mom to Manolo, spirited monkey and Jose Miguel, an angel cupcake