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Where's VeronicaCake?

(3 Posts)
phdlife Sat 30-Apr-11 21:13:08

I never thanked you for long patient post when I was at end of my tether with dd's night-waking. She is better now (these patches always seem to precede a bunch of teeth - never just one - not that I ever remember that at the time!) but I decided to give your plan a go anyway, just to crack the habit.

Here's how it went, so far. round 1:

"here we are in the big stripy bed, dd.(not bedtime, just a visit) here's Max and White Dog and Dollies and Big Teddy. You love them, don't you?"
"What else do you like, to help you feel all snuggly?"
"erm, ok, what about Toby?"
"no. mummy!"

Round 2 (at bedtime)
"Here's Max, Dollies, Big Teddy, and White Dog. Who would you like to snuggle?"
"yes, but who else?" (she's gone through phases of being inseparable from all these creatures, so IANBU here)
"no. Go away, Max (fling). Go away, Dollies (fling)."
"What about White Doggy?"
(dd arranges white doggy down on pillow beside her.)
"Oh, that's nice. Are you going to give White Dog a cuddle later on?"
"No." (fling)

And that's her in a GOOD mood!

I'm not giving up, but I wanted you to know what I'm up against hmm

VeronicaCake Mon 02-May-11 14:17:45

Glad to hear things are better than they were - DD is cutting a molar right now and I am beginning to wonder if she wouldn't be better off without teeth.

I'm impressed at her persistence! You've obviously done a really good job of making her feel secure.

I guess where you go from here depends on how much you think things still need to change. If you still feel that she needs to learn to sleep independently then you'll just have to meet her persistence with persistence of your own. Which will, unfortunately, mean some crying on her part. Not leaving her to cry (unless you feel that is the right thing to do) but explaining that you aren't going to feed and enduring the storm that follows. Feeding on demand and comforting on demand matter a lot when babies are small and have no other resources to draw upon. But at two she does have other resources to draw upon.

I feel squeamish about controlled crying but have had to leave DD to cry in her cot for a couple of minutes on occasion because it has been obvious my presence is winding her up. I always go back in and offer stroking and comfort once she is ready to accept those forms of reassurance. So if a refusal to feed on your part results in a meltdown you may need to leave her to it for a little while. You are doing the right thing in helping her learn to sleep by herself no matter how mean it makes you feel in the short term.

The only other thing I wonder is maybe my suggestion of talking about feelings was a bit optimistic. She may not be ready to describe how she feels or be able to link the range of lovely things she associates with you with the comfort she gets from other sources. If that is the case maybe gently talking to her about the things that make you feel good, and get DH and her sibling(s?) to do the same might help a bit. And you may have to make the executive decisions on how to make her bedtime routine as safe and reassuring as possible.

phdlife Sat 28-May-11 12:36:41

So here we are a month in, and here's how it's going.

Every night at bedtime, she still asks for a bf and has a fit (fairly minor, it has to be said) when I turn her down. Tonight, dare I say it, she hardly screamed at dh at all, so I'm hoping we've turned a corner there and she'll start going down for him without too much more grief.

Every night she wakes around 11:30-1 and throws a major fit when I turn her down. It's not just the screaming and kicking, it's that every tiny little thing that happens after that (I adjust a blanket, I scratch my nose) causes a whole new explosion and then some more sobbing. Then she jams her thumb in her mouth and tries to get to sleep, obsessively fondling the two moles I have on either side of my chest and rubs her hand down my cleavage - that's the only non-boob soothing sleep association she's built. (All soft toys are teddy non-grata in this bed.) This phase is punctuated by many frequent mini-outbursts and more tears as she assimilates what's just happened, and may go on for up to an hour. It's heartbreaking, as she just really desperately wants to be asleep, if only I'd give her what she needs. There is some 2yo tantrumming there, sure, but mostly she just sounds devastated and bereft of the comfort she needs.

At four she wakes again, sobbing and pleading for mummy milk. Theoretically at this stage I should be knocking that one on the head, but given she is still struggling so badly with the 1am feed I can't see it happening - I'm too bloody tired to spend another hour trying to sort her, and besides, half the time I will have to tend to ds as well (waking due to nightmares, cold and/or leaking nappies).

Attempts to get dh in have so far gone nowhere. We are having serious talks to address this atm but tbh I can't really see it making much improvement. Besides being away regularly, dh is far less tolerant of missed sleep than I am, making him unpleasant and unhelpful to be around the next day. Anyway it's not like I gain any sleep, as dd (enraged by my failure to bring my moles) screams loudly enough to be heard by the neighbours, let alone in the next bedroom.

I never thought I'd consider a cold-turkey quit, but tbh the only thing stopping me atm is thinking it would probably be worse.

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