Here is my story. First kid slept awful from day one, up all night as a toddler. 2nd kid (yes, despite this, there was a second) started sleeping 6 hours a night his first week! Freaked me out. Of course, at other times he slept just as awfully as his brother.
We did everything the baby trainers say not to do. Co-slept. Nursed to sleep. Nursed on request. (Although sometimes at night as toddlers I said no way, not again, no how, and had my husband take over) I also nursed both boys past 4 years.
Kids are now 8 and 5 and at 8 oclock every night, they go to sleep in their own room. They sleep all night, until 6:30am. And, to the amazement of everyone, my 5 year old still naps for about an hour almost every day after kindergarten-in his own bed. The youngest has the very occasional nightmare (and of course, he is welcome to come into our bed for the rest of the night), but otherwise, no sleep disturbances at all. And no sleep or bedtime resistance at all, either. It's the most peaceful time of our day! (There is some naptime resistance now, but that is because he is transitioning away from needing them. He still falls asleep most days though. And the difference in his behavior is amazing.)
There were times, especially when my oldest was three and my youngest a baby, that were really hard, and I wanted to wring Dr. Sears' neck for all that AP sleep stuff that was (I thought) making me lose my mind. I survived by napping, going to bed earlier, and by going to LLL toddler meetings so I could be with others of my secret society. But I can say unequivocally I would not do a thing differently.
This thread also gives me hope. . .my little guy just turned a year and I EP. He "only" wakes up for 2 bottles of EBM and maybe a bottle of water, but it is really starting to wear on me as I am trying to study engineering. My parents are really helpful on the weekends and take him in the morning and let me sleep another couple of hours, but I'd really like an actual 6 hour stretch sometime. Looks like there is a light at the end of the tunnel! :lol
My 25 month old is now sleeping 6-7 hours in the first stretch and that only happened within the last 6 months. Hang in there. There are others of us out here. It WILL NOT be forever. TAKE NAPS!!! Don't overdo it during the days. The time will come later to do more. Now is time to be MOMMY!!!
You're doing great!
OP here. Thanks for the replies. I try to think of all you good mommies out there just as sleep-deprived as I am. It's just so hard to be anything but angry when you're dealing with the 6th waking of the night. I feel terrible about it, but some nights I do approach the point of being angry. It just feels so unfair, knowing that some toddler are sleeping longer than 2 hours at a time.
I'm considering trying Jay Gordon's night weaning method, starting in a few weeks when DH is on winter break and can deal with some night insanity. I think I would shoot for a 5-hour stretch instead of 7 hours, though. Does anyone have any experience with his method? (I suppose I should head over to the sleep forum, huh?) I'm just feeling too run-down. There are days when I'm not a good mommy because I'm so tired. Lizzie crawled off the bed one morning last week because I was too sleepy to stop her (no harm done, though she did land on her head :() We're trying to sell the house and Ihave to keep it in showroom condition on top of everything else. I NEED more sleep. :tearhairout
My almost 14 month old is also up very often at night - a good night is only 2-3 times. A month or so ago when she was getting up more like 5 -6 times a night I made a change that I think has helped, though it's often hard to say one thing made all the difference.
We co-sleep and nurse through the night, but we have a crib which we've "sidecared" to our bed. I'd been really bad about just letting her come into bed with us as soon as she woke up the first time during the night (she gets put to bed in the crib part of the bed), but I decided to take a baby step in nursing her back to sleep without taking her out of the sidecared crib). She's been having some longer stretches (though she still has bad nights) - the other night she had a stretch from 7 at night until 2 in the morning!!! Longest stretch ever.
While maybe it's just a fluke, I think having her on her own mattress prevents her from waking up when we stir even though she's still inches away from me! I've also been experimenting with ways of getting her to eat more solids for dinner, and I think figuring out the right nap schedule helps too - not too tired/not to well rested. Easier said than done.
I'm not claiming a solution - she still wakes every 3-4 hours most nights, but that's better than the 2-3 (and sometimes 1) she had been doing her life before that!!
This gives me hope :) I have a 19 month old who usually wakes every two hours. Sometimes it's every hour. We nurse on demand and co-sleep, and we are hardly separated. The terrible twos have officially started, and it's tough dealing with a baby who doesn't want her diaper changed, doesn't want to get dressed, doesn't want to get undressed, doesn't want to take a bath, but wakes up every hour to nurse.
She had roseola the week leading up to Thanksgiving...so sick baby who only wants to nurse, plus out of town childless relatives (i.e. no help or understanding!), plus cooking/entertaining, plus tantrums equals exhausted mommy.
So, there is hope! Stay strong and have faith. It may happen sooner than you expect.
Just a question for you...what does your bedtime routine look like? We have been doing the same things for a while and I think the consistency really helps with the first stretch.
I've tried a couple times this week nursing her to sleep and then laying her in bed like I used to, instead of nursing her to sleep in bed. I don't know. I'm grasping at straws at this point, but will try to keep the faith that it will work out.
I have seen some of those projector things. DH's co-worker swears by the animal-shaped ones that project stars on the ceiling. DD does sleep in our room, though, so I'm worried it would keep me awake. And it doesn't seem to matter how much light there is. NCSS recommends total darkness, I think, but that doesn't seem to help either.
Thanks for all the encouragement. I'm glad we're all in this together. :hug