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How do you other mothers do it?

13 replies

p0ptart · 26/09/2020 21:19

I'm really struggling today.

DD2 is 2 months and a terrible sleeper like her older sister. I find the days that I have both DD1 (who's 2) and DD2 awful. DD2 needs continuous walking in a sling to sleep, and DD1 just wants to go to a playground. What always happens is that DD1's wishes trump DD2's need for sleep, and DD2 gets only tiny cat naps and then goes hysterical at bedtime from being overtired. I then end up holding her all night and get no sleep.

DD1 also feels neglected because I can't play with her as well when I'm constantly holding DD2. DD1 then tantrums and I just can't cope. My husband is around at the weekend when things are a bit easier but not much - DD2 still doesn't get enough sleep in the day as we're hanging out as a family and usually at the playground with DD1.

What am I doing wrong? Is it normal that at 2 months DD2 is waking every hour at night and needing to be held for most of it? Please help me.

OP posts:
StillCounting123 · 26/09/2020 21:34

Bless you, OP. You are seriously in the thick of things and doing your best.

This time last year I had a 9 year old, 7 year old, 2 year old and twins who were 2 months old. Feck me, I can hardly remember a thing about it apart from that my head is still spinning from it all.

A 2 year age gap is lovely (especially notice that now my eldest two are slightly up) but at the age your DDs are it is hectic.

Allow yourself to acknowledge to your own mind that it's hectic and it's ok.

Hopefully your DD2 gets the hang of napping in the sling or buggy as it will be a lifesaver. Get her used to napping with a bit of background noise, as with a toddler around there will be lots of that!

You are knackered, still healing up and you need to try to look after yourself too.

We have no family help, but useful neighbours and friends. Seek help from anyone sensible and rest as much as you can.

Your baby will sleep in longer stretches soon, I am sure. You aren't failing because she isn't yet.

BrewCake congratulations on your lovely family. It's all worth it!

V2Hod · 27/09/2020 13:31

Have you tried seeing if DD2 will nap in a swing? I bought a 2nd hand one out of desperation with my DS and it was the only way he would sleep unless he was strapped to me. I remember trying so hard to undo the sling without waking DS but it never worked!

S00LA · 27/09/2020 13:35

You’re not doing anything wrong, it’s an exhausting stage.

Your husband needs to do more when he comes home from work. If baby needs held all night then he needs to do every other night or half the night.

Have you tried getting him to drive baby in the car to get her to sleep? Not very eco friendly I know but needs must.

You need sleep as much as he does - assuming he has a normal job and isn’t an anti traffic controller or train driver.

Horrible76 · 27/09/2020 13:38

It is brutal, op. The first year of my second child's life was genuinely the most physically and psychologically difficult of my life.

Do you have a car? Will the baby sleep in the car? Both of mine would sometimes sleep in the car, I'd get a McDonalds drive thru coffee and read my book in a carpark.

Serenschintte · 27/09/2020 13:43

I had a newborn and a 2.5 yr old who dropped his nap shortly after Ds arrived.
From memory, I wore a sling a lot. Left me hands free for toddler.
We went for quite a lot of walks.
I had a special box for toddler that only came out a feed time for the baby and has small toys and books it in.
Friday and Saturday nights DH did feeds and I slept in spare room. I did Sunday to Thursday
Oh and toddler went to nursery two half days a week and if I could i would sleep then too

WankPuffins · 27/09/2020 13:45

Honestly? I co sleep to save my sanity. The baby sleeps much better when right next to me.

Also wear baby in a sling a lot.

p0ptart · 27/09/2020 14:29

Thank you everyone. We live in London and don't have a car unfortunately. I hear that cars do magical things to babies though!

I breastfeed so I'm not sure my husband can do much overnight. I also don't trust him to not fall asleep holding DD2 and then squishing her. At the weekend he tends to manage DD1 and I do DD2, as it's the most efficient this way. I'd love a break from DD2 but maybe not for a while.

It sounds like this isn't particularly unusual, I just got to woman up and get through it 😢😢

OP posts:
p0ptart · 27/09/2020 14:39

@V2Hod what's a swing? Or do you mean a sling? We have a babybjorn bouncy chair which DD1 slept in at this age, but alas not DD2! It's sling or nothing these days if we want a decent length nap, which isn't ideal with winter coming. At least it'll be good exercise!

OP posts:
OhToBeASeahorse · 27/09/2020 14:39

OP I am 38 weeks pg with my 2nd - my son is 2. I'm absolutely expecting to feel the way you do. My son sounds similar to your youngest with naps and it's really tough. Things have lined up for myself are:

  • yoga ball in the lounge to bounce newborn in in a sling while DS watches some tv
  • DH sleeping in the spare room if eldest is unsettled so at least we are one on one rather than both being disturbed by both children
  • childcare for DS twice a week. Is this a possibility for you?

A 2 month old waking that regularly is normal but really tough! You sound really harsh on yourself - no one would find this easy I dont think. Take each day (or hour!) as it comes. Be kind to yourself. This is what takeaways and ready meals are for.
OhToBeASeahorse · 27/09/2020 14:40

Re the sling - you can get good covers for them, they saved my life when DS was small and I was walking round the fucking park half the day.

V2Hod · 27/09/2020 14:56

I got a Cuggl Electronic Swing and it was all I could get to work I don't know I'd the rocking helped mimic me walking. It also vibrated so I don't know if that helped as well. I also had an app called baby sleeps and would play vaccum cleaner sounds. It was a very precise process! My DS is 18 months old now and I'm 20 weeks pregnant so I'm expecting to feel just like you in a few months so if you manage to find the secret to keeping 2 kids happy prior warning would be great!!

BletheringHeights · 27/09/2020 15:20

Went upstairs for a rest the minute DH walked in and then never really got out of bed. So was sort of having a catnap myself from about 7 to 9.

Honestly, it’s a long road but it does get better! At 10 months I had to do a tiny bit of sleep training as breastfed dd hadn’t slept longer than 45 mins at a time since birth and I thought I was close to psychosis... sat downstairs crying while she howled for half an hour, then she slept for something like four hours. It all got marginally better from there. It was a really, really brutal year for us, I don’t think anyone who hasn’t experienced it can understand.

The most useful advice that I used on dc1 but missed the window on for dc2 due to living in a terrace with paper walls and not wanting to disturb the neighbours, was in a book called ‘French Children Don’t Throw Food’. It had some really sensible ideas about gently encouraging them to sleep. Had I known how horrific dd’s sleep would have been for years, I would have spent more time instituting every gentle sleep routine known to man as I did with dc1. But I was almost too fried and tired to do it! Be wiser than me!

p0ptart · 27/09/2020 16:03

Thanks everybody, I'll check out the swing and baby sleeps app @V2Hod

@OhToBeASeahorse oh DH has slept in a different room for almost a year now, to accommodate DD1's terrible sleep! He's still having to go into DD1's room in the night (I know...) but DD1 at least just settles down once he's there. I'm very envious of him. Re childcare DD1 goes to a childminder's already and will be full time soon. I feel terrible enough that this is the case so I hope nobody comes along to tell me I'm being a bad mother. She loves it there otherwise we wouldn't do it.

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