Thinking of leaving because of sleep issues.(9 Posts)
I really need help. We have 2 DD's, one 3yo and a 9mo. Neither of them sleep through the night.
DD1 has never been a good sleeper. Before Christmas, she has managed to sleep all night in her bed about 4 out of seven nights since around September. We have tried everything since she was a baby but nothing worked. Thought we had just about cracked it. When she wakes she either gets in with us or I get in with her.
DD2 has a bath, bottle and is cuddled to sleep. I still cuddle her for all naps which she does in her cot. But she wakes at 10pm and 2am for milk. Usually after the 2am feed she won't settle so comes in with us. She is also an incredibly clingy fussy baby and it is impossible for anyone besides me to settle her. I was planning on sleep training next week but now that DD1 has started waking again I'm reluctant to as it will keep her up.
DH is crap in the night. He is so grumpy when he gets awoken that he can be really harsh with DD1. I have told him over and over not to argue or engage with her when she wakes but just to keep telling her to go to sleep, perhaps stroke her back, but he argues with her which wakes her up, makes her cry and wakes up DD2. So much so that often if DD1 wakes I just go and get in her bed until DD2 wakes up, feed and settle her then carry DD1 to our bed.
I think the problem is that the girls are waking each other up. DD1 has started talking about bad dreams too.
I am absolutely at my wits end. I keep thinking if DH wasn't around then I would cosleep with both and we would all sleep well. I love him but we are all so tired that it feels like no one likes each other very much.
This won't last forever, in a few months sleep will be better for both kids no doubt.
Can he sleep in a different room and you co sleep with both?
I'm in exactly same position, except dh is slightly calmer (although it took us going to the GP and GP explaining to dh that there is nothing physically wrong with dd1 that's stopping her sleeping, to reassure him that we will get through this phase eventually). We are firm with dd1 that she has to stay in her own bed because of Mr co-sleeping with dd2, so after many nights frog marching her back to bed at least when she wakes up she stays in her room and calls for us, then one of us goes and lots by her until she goes back to sleep. It's less than ideal and we've made a rod for our own back as dd1 coslept until 2, then one of us sits with her into she goes to sleep. We keep reminding ourselves that this time last year she would only fall asleep on the boob so we've already come a long way, dh goes to bed earlier so that if dds do wake at last he's had a good chunk of sleep at the beginning of the night.
It sounds like you are bringing both of them into your bed when they wake?
That could be triggering their sleep habits "time for Mummy's warm bed"
And that would be fine if you had the bed free, but you don't.
Can you commit to only getting into DD1s bed? Am thinking that in time you may be able to spend less time in there.
If DD2 is waking for bottles rather than boob, I would definitely start slowly diluting them until it's only water by about 1oz a month.
I think 9months is a bit young for sleep training when they're sharing a room. She has several sleep regressions to come anyway. But maybe not feeding during the night might help as she may eat more during the day and sleep heavier.
A less dramatic option thanleaving would be for DH to move into dd1's room and you cosleep exactly as you would if you were a single parent.
A short term solution til either dd1 initiates wanting her own bed / room or you've all had a few weeks or months of better sleep and both parents feel up to whatever kind of approach you feel might get everyone back into their own beds.
I coslept in our big bed with my very poorly DS who never slept through (for 5 years!) and my DH slept in the guest room. I think we would have separated had I had to continue getting up in the night to settle and/or care for DS and continue to wake up my DH. With all 3 or 4 of us waking many nights it put us all at breaking point.
At least if he was in another room, DH got good sleep and DS and I got the best sleep we could manage without waking everyone else up with creaking floorboards, light switches, crying, etc.
It really changed things for the better when DH moved to the guest room. But what that took was for us to realise that the bad sleep wasn't going to change anytime and we just had to get through the rough years.
Hope you manage to work it out.
Thanks for your replies. To answer a few points;
DD is bottle fed. I feel really guilty but she was only breastfed for 4 months as she was constantly screaming and crying. I think I will eat and reduce the 2am bottle as she rarely finishes it anyway.
The DD's don't share a room, but are next door to each other with very thin walls!
I have suggested DH sleeping on the sofa a few times (only 3 bedrooms) but he feels like it's kicking him out, and our relationship is pretty strained at the moment with no intimacy. I just wish there was a magic wand! However I know we would all be better with more sleep so will suggest it again.
I will also try to not let DD1 into our bed. I bought a reward chart yesterday and explained to her if she sleeps in her own bed I will get her a Frozen duvet set which she was excited about but she was having none of it when she woke last night!
As pp poster has suggested, I would personally concentrate initially with sleep training dd1. She needs to spend the whole night in her own bed - so explain what is going to happen and then carry it out. Don't cave in or she'll know that you don't mean it. You'll be in for a few nights of gritting teeth but it should crack it. Just keep taking her back to bed and calmly explain it is time to sleep.
Dd2 - reducing with an aim to stopping 2am feed is a good plan. Again, I wouldn't allow her to come into your bed or you'll create issues with jealousy and frankly she needs to learn to sleep independently (imo).
Given you've two to deal with it'd be nice to think your dh could get on board with this & do his bit - but he'd need to remain kind and calm and not engage in debate with dds.
Short term pain for long term gain - but I know sleep training isn't for everyone. I'm not suggesting leaving either to cry by the way, though I don't doubt they'll have a few angry tears when they realise they aren't in charge anymore.
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