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Struggling with 2.... please help!

(17 Posts)
Macdaddylonglegs Fri 20-May-16 10:30:16

I'm struggling with my 14 week old and 2.5yr old. I've been in tears several times this morning and it's only 10.30.

I'm fine when I've just got the baby but when I've got the baby and toddler it's awful. I was managing fine until about 2-3 weeks ago. Back then the baby would sleep in the pram if we went out. At home I could use the bouncer or pram. Also baby slept well at night managing 3-4 hour intervals of sleep. However in the last few weeks I am really struggling to get the baby asleep. He won't sleep in the pram anymore and just screams and screams. The bouncer also no longer works. The only things that does work reliably is the sling but I can't cope with him strapped to me and care for my toddler. If I'm alone with him I can devote the 30+minutes to rocking him to sleep in a quiet dark room but obviously can't do this when I have both of them. His sleep at night has deteriorated and he is waking 1-2 hourly. I'm exhausted and fed up. I started another thread, where I got advice about routine and making sure the baby wasn't overtired etc. I have no problem identifying his sleep cues and know when to try to get him asleep but nothing works. I started trying to get him asleep at 9am and only succeeded at 10.15. He definitely was massively overtired by the time I succeeded as it had taken so long. I dread him waking as he''s only awake an hour tops and the whole process starts again.

What am I doing wrong?

scandichick Fri 20-May-16 13:41:57

Can you throw money at the problem and get a mother's help a few hours a day? Presumably not very helpful, but at least it would work...

I'm in the same situation, only mine is still napping in the pram. Have you tried a snooze shade/strategically hung muslin and rocking/walking the pram while keeping older child occupied? Water puddles and toy trucks are great for keeping my eldest going while I walk circles around her with the pram. How about using the sling for napping at toddler groups? Older child can play and you're still mobile to break up fights, plus other parents tend to be helpful. Does your eldest still nap? Throw everything and the kitchen sink into synchronising them if so.

It's horribly hard, you've my sympathies - it did get massively easier at about five months when the baby went down to two naps.

Binkybix Fri 20-May-16 14:19:06

Sympathies! My age gap was similar, maybe a bit smaller and my baby would not sleep except for on me at night and in sling.

I used quite a lot of TV for the toddler while getting baby in sling. I also planned activities where we'd have a decent walk on the way so hopefully baby got some sleep (used buggy board for toddler).

I also just had to accept that baby would not always get optimum naps.

You'll get there - I cried a lot too but those days are getting fewer now.

Miffyandme Fri 20-May-16 14:20:39

I feel for you, I have a two year old and a 10 month old. It has been really hard juggling different nap times and getting the baby to sleep. I ended up using work vouchers for nursery two days a week for toddler and having some family help. I would second the suggestion of getting some help if you can.
I know it is much much easier said than done but I found that if I was stressed about getting the baby to sleep soon, she took longer!
Try white noise / relaxing music on your phone that the baby can associate with sleep.
I think there is a period round about the age of your baby when sleep does deteriorate so this may well be the reason and it will pass.
It is so hard though and all I can say is that you are not the only one.
Sleep is one of the main reasons I think I am having no more children!!

albertcampionscat Sat 21-May-16 09:56:07

Are there toddler groups locally where you can let the oldest run off steam?

SleeplessRageMonster Sat 21-May-16 10:52:41

It's all well and good people saying "make sure the baby isn't overtired", but this can be almost impossible with a toddler in tow (I have three under three, it's a nightmare sometimes, though was worse with the oldest and the 2nd one as oldest was hardcore high need toddler). I did the best I could but always one screaming or crying. The baby I ended up feeding burping then trying to put down in cot for nap but toddler would come screaming in, yanking on me, hysterical etc because I wasn't paying him attention etc. Poor baby just got dumped in cot, white noise whacked on whilst I dragged toddler away downstairs. I'd leave baby for 5 mins whilst running toddler downstairs, then run back up to reassure baby, run back down to tantrumming toddler, run back up to baby 10 mins later etc. Eventually, baby would fall asleep in cot but for a long time it was a stressful horrible nightmare! But we got there. Just keep doing what your doing, you're being a good mum, everything will align and work out in the end but it takes time, you'll get there though just keep at it x

Macdaddylonglegs Mon 23-May-16 17:42:26

Thanks everyone! It's helpful just to have some reassuring words as I was starting to feel like a failure. I often think everyone is managing things better. I agree that I do get worked up about getting my baby to sleep as toddler kicking off, wanting attention etc. I often feel stressed when I have the 2 of them and I'm sure that's affecting things. I do sometimes go to playgroups and meet friends who also have toddlers & babies and often things work a lot better on these days I guess because I feel less stressed and the toddler has more to entertain and distract her. I think i'll have to get out the house more and take a deep breath and relax more when I'm home alone with 2! Thanks again

1Potato2 Mon 23-May-16 21:38:08

I might be too late, but I've got a 2.8 year old and a 17 week old.

Some tips that you can try/reject:
- Nursery for a few sessions a week for eldest
- It's expensive and is not guaranteed to work, but how about a Sleepyhead type thing) Ds will now go down with just a cuddle
- Um (whispers) tv for the older one when you are putting the baby down for naps.
- Time trips to park etc around nap time and use a dark muslin (jojo maman has one for a tenner)
- Do as much prep as you can the night before
- Always try and get out of the house, preferably in the morning so you can feel that you've achieved something!
- if not already, do a bedtime routine with both together. Means you get your evenings back.

You have my sympathies. Dd dropped her naps a few weeks after ds was born and decided it was the perfect time to be toilet trained. It's been hard when in the middle of a feed.

Macdaddylonglegs Tue 24-May-16 09:01:09

Thanks 1potato. So we have a sleepy head which dc2 has slept in since birth. It doesn't seem to help with naps. I've got a snooze shade for the pram but despite prolonged and consistent efforts to get him to sleep in the pram he just becomes hysterical. Dc1 does go ton a childminders 2 days a week which definitely helps but the sleep issue with dc2 is really driving me mad. I'm on my own with him today and I've just spent 1 hour (!!!) Trying and failing to get him to sleep as I don't want to use the sling. I've had to walk away from cot and leave him screaming to give myself a break and write this hoping someone can give me a clue what the hell I'm doing wrong!

He's definitely tired and I started before he was overtired. I have white noise on, he is swaddled, I try a dummy but he just spits it out intermittently. I've tried rocking, feeding, just lying next to him. Occasionally his eyelids drop and he looks as if he's going to sleep and then he just wakes back up and starts getting upset because he's so tired. Should I be trying so hard? Should I just leave him to cry (not what I want at all but if nothing works anyway)? Obviously if dc1 was here this would all be chaos anyway as I wouldn't be able to leave her unattended for so long.

I just don't understand how a baby can become so difficult to get to sleep?!

Imnotagilmoregirl Tue 24-May-16 09:18:30

Hi, sorry if I'm a bit late to the party. My kids are 13 months apart, I feel your pain!

What worked for me was getting out of the house every day. Even 10 minutes just to tesco, helped. I had the eldest on reins, and got them walking by the pushchair to wear her out a bit. Also, as soon as feasibly possible, even if it's just a morning a week, nursery/playgroup/mums and tots. I'm not a joiner and usually hate gatherings with strangers, but I did find it help structure my week.

With regards sleep, sometimes it grinds you down so much! If you can hold/soothe/cuddle them, brilliant. If you're at the end of your tether, just put them somewhere safe, like their cot or pushchair and take yourself out of the room for a couple of minutes. At least you can calm yourself and they might surprise you and drop off. Also, baths are a lovely way to kill the last hour before bedtime!

Good luck!

Macdaddylonglegs Tue 24-May-16 09:21:31

After crying for 10 minutes, clearly exhausted he just collapsed in my arms. Maybe I should just be leaving him to become really exhausted and allow some crying. I hate it and it's absolutely not what I would plan to do but will it help him nap more easily? Am I trying too hard /making things worse?

EweAreHere Tue 24-May-16 09:26:52

I would suggest going to as many playgroups as you can, at least 1 per day, if not 2. There are afternoon groups in some areas, too.

Most playgroups, especially those organized by church groups, will help while you're there. Good playgroups have extra child-free adults on hand running them, so there is often extra grown up support. The toddler will be entertained by running about, having a snack, singing, doing crafts, etc, and you can sit with the baby for large chunks and (usually) another grown up will happily bring you a cup of tea. Plus, plenty of parents to commiserate with about how hard it can be.

Hang in there. x

EweAreHere Tue 24-May-16 09:28:07

Oh, and if there's any way at all to find a couple of 3 hour nursery/pre school slots for the 2.5 year old, take them! You might even be eligible for free hours depending upon where you live.

Pollyputhtekettleon Tue 24-May-16 09:32:44

Forget about the routine. Get up, fed, dress everyone and into the car! If you are out and about baby will nap in buggy/car and toddler will be occupied with whatever you are doing and you will feel that you have done something rather than firefighting all day at home trying to make life bearable. They change so fast and it takes time to get to know them and how they work at each stage but sometimes I feel like we never actually catch up! But if you are out and doing stuff none of it matters. (Mums and tots groups, shopping centres with large forecourts to run around, cafes for treats with toddler, friends houses, park and playground, IKEA even!).

Macdaddylonglegs Tue 24-May-16 11:50:21

Thanks Polly! I think everyone agrees getting out is the way to survive! I was going out everyday but we started potty training and that has kept us home more. I think I'll have to accept the accidents and begrudgingly accept the napping in the sling. I guess it will be better for the toddler's and my sanity to just be out and about. At home I am becoming a bit fixated on the nap issues - not healthy I'm sure!!

EweAreHere Tue 24-May-16 12:27:37

I used to carry a potty with us in the car/bottom of the push chair during stages where 'not waiting' was an issue. Not great, but worked for them which was the important part. They can be emptied straight into drains which are everywhere, quickly wiped down with a wipe or two, bagged and rinsed out at home.

1Potato2 Tue 24-May-16 16:10:24

I can recommend a potette plus. The liners are bit expensive, but it's saved my skin on several occasions and there's no mess to deal with. Just bag up and bin. Marvellous

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