Thursday, 18 February 2016

Rough patch

I know I'm overdue for a post.  I keep thinking about it, telling myself I'm going to write something, but the honest truth is, I didn't think anyone would really appreciate reading what I have to say.  Because I'm not in a very good place lately.

I knew that getting a baby to sleep (and getting some sleep yourself) was one of the biggest challenges for new parents.  Hell, sometimes it felt like that's all anyone ever said to me when I was pregnant.  "Sleep now, because you won't anymore when the baby comes!  Har har har!!"  So when Q was born and slept so well right off the bat that we needed to use an alarm to wake him for feedings,   I counted myself lucky and was very hesitant to even mention it to other new moms for fear of seeming smug.  I knew it wasn't anything I'd done or hadn't done.  It was just how he was.

Fast forward ten months, we've now been pummelled with various sleep regressions, teething, illnesses, developmental milestones, and travel.  You'd think I'd have baby sleep somewhat figured out by now.  And yet, you couldn't be more fucking wrong.

Things haven't been good on the sleep front since December.  I mean, Q's never been a very good napper, but at least nighttimes were going OK.  Until they weren't.  It started with very early wakeups (as early as 4 or 4:30am) and a complete refusal to go back to sleep.  Then naps started to spiral out of control, with Q fighting them tooth and nail and sometimes only going down for as little as 30 minutes twice a day.  Naps finally started to lengthen again due to some concerted nap training effort on my part...and then nights fell apart.  He would wake at random intervals in the middle of the night and require an hour or two of rocking and singing to go back to sleep.  Some nighttime sleep training seems to have fixed that (for now)...but we're right back to early waking and nap hell.  As soon as I work on fixing one thing, something else goes sideways.  I feel like one of those cartoons where the character is in a boat or a submarine and it springs a leak, so he puts his hand over it.  Then another leak springs up, then another, so he uses his other hand, then a foot, then another foot and before you know it he's tied up in knots, he's out of appendages and the boat is sinking fast.

At this point, I feel like I've read every single thing on the internet about baby sleep, and napping in particular.  I feel like I've tried it all.  Blackout blinds, check.  White noise, check.  No pacifier or blanket or lovey, since he's totally uninterested in any of them.  I've rocked him, I've shush-patted him, I've tried co-sleeping.  I've done Ferber's controlled crying and full-on extinction cry-it-out.  I've tried more awake time.  I've tried less awake time.  And finally, last week I threw in the towel and called a sleep consultant.  She was quite lovely and suggested that our free initial 15 minute phone consultation might in fact be all I needed to get Q back on track, as she thought his problems were caused by overtiredness and that I simply needed to tweak his wake times to make them much more drastically shorter than I'd ever tried.  So then I did that.  And it worked, blissfully, for three short days.  Then out of nowhere (and with me having done absolutely nothing differently, and following the consultant's plan exactly), he just flat out started refusing his afternoon nap entirely.  As in, not having it at all.

Today, for instance, was particularly heinous.  Q woke at 5am and resisted all efforts to be put back to sleep.  He took a 30 minute catnap from 9 to 9:30am, cried for an hour through my first attempt at an early afternoon nap around 12:30pm, and then happily babbled his way through an hour long stroller walk at 3pm instead of being lulled to sleep like I hoped.  That's 30 minutes of nap sleep, total, all day.  Not enough in anyone's book, no matter what sleep expert du jour you ask.  Even if he was trying to drop to one nap, which every resource tells me it's way too early for, that nap certainly isn't meant to be a 30 minute one.

Admittedly, I'm not sleep deprived the way I would be with a newborn who's waking every 2 or 3 hours all night.  I can go to bed early and stave off the worst of the effects of being up at 4 or 5am every day.  My frustration level is through the roof, though, and I'm afraid that it's turning me into a terrible mother.  On particularly bad nap days like today, I basically never get a break.  I have no backup, since all of my family lives out of province and even my in-laws are a 2 hour drive away.  I have no one who can come over and give me a few minutes to take a shower or get dinner started or (heaven forbid) relax, or any of the other million things that normal moms must do while their baby is napping.  I don't ever have a chance to recharge and as a result I end up burning out fast, which means that instead of doing important stuff like playing or reading or singing to Q I'm sitting on the floor zoning out and basically doing the bare minimum to keep him from killing himself by sticking his finger in a socket or accidentally throwing himself off the stairs.  I get frustrated with stupid little things that shouldn't (and don't normally) really bother me, like Q ripping off his own bib at dinner and getting food all over himself.  On a good sleep day, it's cute and Facebook-status-update worthy.  On the fifth day of him letting him CIO for an hour for an afternoon nap that never happened (thanks for nothing, sleep consultant), it's yell-at-your-baby-then-feel-like-a-piece-of-human-excrement-for-doing-so worthy.

But the frustration isn't even the worst part.  The worst is how it makes me question myself, and my own abilities as a mother.  I mean, if I can't get my baby to sleep, how is he supposed to grow and thrive?  How is he supposed to develop properly?  If I can't even do this basic thing, certainly I don't even deserve to be a mom.  Maybe infertility was the universe's way of attempting to stop me from doing this thing I was never meant to do.  And instead I went and circumvented nature and now I have this baby I wasn't supposed to have and I'm just going to end up fucking him up despite how much I love him and want nothing but good for him.

And then there's the times I'm so tired and frustrated that I don't want to be around him at all.  Which is scary and guilt-inducing in a whole different way.  Because there are people who would give ANYTHING to be in my position, pregnant after one try with donor eggs, now with a healthy thriving beautiful baby boy.  And then I feel worse than a piece of human excrement. 

So that's where I'm at.  I kept waiting to climb out of the other side of this pit of sleep suck, and write a hilarious and insightful post on sleep training and nap training and how we all survived it.  But at this point I'm starting to think this is going to be as good as it gets, at least for a while.

34 comments:

  1. Argh. Blogger ate my comment. So here's the short version.

    You are not an inadequate or awful mother. Remember sleep deprivation and exhaustion are used as forms of torture. The fact you aren't in the looney bin is a testament to how awesome you are (even though you may not feel like it).

    Second, you need to get the sleep consultant back on the phone and schedule a home visit. If she won't or if she doesn't help, find someone else. And enlist your pediatrician. This isn't kitten play and you need a team to help get to the bottom of this. No guilt for doing so either.

    Finally, let me know what I can do to help. I wish I was there to give you a break during the day, but I can instead listen, help brainstorm and tell you about how Jaxson and Daisy are encouraging the 4-5 am wake-ups on our end (they've decided that breakfast with the birds is simply lovely....).

    Hang in there lady. You're not alone in this. And I promise you that one day soon it will be okay.

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    1. So when he was crying his way through his afternoon nap yesterday, I emailed the sleep consultant (although following her instructions has gone dreadfully awry so far) and she responded that she's on vacation for ten days. Cue more crying, this time by me. Part of the issue is that the advice is so conflicting; the sleep consultant said he was absolutely not ready to transition to one nap this early, whereas that was the first thing my pediatrician suggested. It's a tricky age, I guess.

      Also, at least we don't have the same problem dog-wise. Buddy is now usually the LAST one to rise in our house, to the point that M and I often end up making the bed with a beagle-shaped lump in the bottom.

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    2. Sleep is such a tricky thing. No two babies are alike. He may be ready to drop the second nap. Some babies need less sleep than others. My guy dropped his second nap at 6 mos. lol. Good luck. Sending good vibes your way. I hope you all get some sleep.

      P.S. Your frustrations don't make you a bad mom. They make you human. I am pretty certain anyone would feel the same under the difficult circumstances.

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  2. Oh no, how hard. You are a great mom, but we seriously never know what these delightful unpredictable babies will throw at us. If you didn't take personal credit for Q being an easy sleeper you should blame yourself for the poor guy's challenges now either. Yes, by all means get help, from the consultant or someone else.. I wish I had advice, but I don't so I will stick with This Too Shall Pass.

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    1. "You shouldn't blame yourself" I mean.

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    2. Haha I figured out what you meant. :)

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  3. That's tough. I yelled at my son once when he was tiny, too. I know how you feel. You're doing as well as you can, and that counts. You deserve him, of course. You'll be on "the other side" of this sooner rather than later, I hope. Believe me, it's always something, even when they get older. Problems at school, feeling excluded with friends, always something that hurts me more than it hurts them! You're a great mama!
    Susan

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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Susan. It sure doesn't feel like it lately.

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  4. First, this too shall pass. It will get better.

    Second, don't feel guilty about not playing with your child all the time. If you had two kids, you wouldn't get the nap break and you'd be doing exactly the same thing- just trying to keep your kids alive.

    Third, can you try and find a babysitter to come once a week for while? Maybe half a day or something? You are only human and it's clear from your post that you really need a break. I have had great luck with care.com.

    I could try and give you sleep advice, but it seems pointless. I have one really bad sleeper and one average to bad sleeper. I did the same things with both, and they are very different. Sometimes, it's really not you. It's your kid. Get some time to yourself and just keep plugging away. Just get through the day.

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    1. Well, whatever happens I only have about six weeks left before I go back to work so it's all going to be someone else's problem five out of seven days soon enough. And at day care he's probably going to be so active that he'll pass out easily and they'll tell me what a great sleeper he is and I'll have to resist the urge to punch them in the throat. My MIL is going to come in for a couple of days next week, and M insisted that I book a massage for tomorrow while they have a boys' day.

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  5. Oh, and I should add that I said some nasty things to my first when she WOULD NOT SLEEP hour after hour after hour in the wee hours of the night. She doesn't remember, and at this point, I barely remember myself.

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  6. So...I so know how you feel. I have one who is 2 and STILL a horrendous sleeper. I have been where you are. I'm still basically there. And I can 1 million percent tell you it is not you or anything you are doing or not doing. I now have 5 kids, and they all have been different about sleep despite doing everything the same.
    The best advice I can give you that saved my sanity (and that was recommended by my pediatrician with my oldest who gave up naps at 1.5 years old and was up all hours until she was nearly 6!!) is to stop fighting it. Seriously. If getting him to nap is stressing you out, don't. If you want to shower, put him in the crib and take a shower. If he is fed and has a dry diaper he is perfectly safe in his crib. If he screams, he screams. 10 months is right in the middle of the separation anxiety thing they go through so that could be why he is fighting you now. Just go about your day. No nap but you want to run to the store? Throw him in the car and maybe he will sleep, if not just keep going and put him in the stroller or the cart and do your thing. Want to eat a meal sitting at the table? Put him in the crib or pack and play where he is safe. Put your earbuds in and realize that you can give yourself some time and he will be ok. You will make yourself crazy fighting him. My 2 year old still desperately needs a nap but I was wasting 3-4 hours of my day trying to get him to sleep. If I was successful he would sleep for 45 minutes, then spend another hour cranky and screaming. So I stopped. If he falls asleep watching TV or playing on the floor or in the car, that's where he sleeps. It was the best thing I ever realized.
    Just know you aren't alone in your struggles and that eventually things get better!!

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    1. I know you're right, but it's just so hard to do. Doing CIO feels bad enough, but at least I can justify it to myself because I'm trying to help him learn to self-soothe and sleep independently. But letting him wail while I take a shower or eat a meal just feels selfish (and I know it's not, but it's just how it feels). Mom guilt all over the place right here. It's nice to hear from someone with a lot of experience that sometimes it's just the personality of the child, though.

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    2. Not to be mean, but let's face it. Our grandmothers and every generation before them (my mom is included here because I am older than you all) put their babies in their cribs and left us there every afternoon. They either slept, cried or played. I feel like this is healthier as babies learned to ENTERTAIN themselves! They also learned they won't be rescued every time they cry! And it didn't hurt them one bit! I feel like this generation of never let their babies cry are doing it wrong. This is why we have a generation of spoiled, entitled adults who can't handle what life throws at them. Seriously! Mothers are pulling their hair out because they are catering to their children, thus denying themselves sleep, decent meals, "me time", etc. Why is this? Why this feeling that babies will be harmed somehow if they are left to their own devises in a safe crib? Every woman I have talked to in their 60s on up said their babies learned fast how to sit and play in the crib or sleep as crying got them nowhere. Maybe it's time to go back to the good ole days for our own sanity??

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  7. Ugh, I get this. We had this earlier on than you, but I remember reading your blog and thinking you seemed to love your baby more than I did, but now I think it was just that you weren't sleep obsessed then and I was. And now I'm not as sleep obsessed, so our roles are reversed. But sleep obsession just screws it all up and makes us feel like we are doing everything wrong!

    My girl was never really into pacis, but we have stuck with the wubbanubs(basically a paci attached to a lovey) and they have become a huge hit over time. She gets 4 in her crib and will spend almost an hour playing with them in the morning. And now getting her excited about nap time or bed time is as simple as asking her if she wants to go night night with pacis. I know he refuses everything, but it might be worth getting something like that.

    Also, re-hire that sleep consultant. It seems like you figured something out with those few days of good sleep, so now you just have to figure out how to make it permanent. And yell at her. I think you need to yell at someone.

    And, if I was with my one year old all day with no naps, I would be a crazy crazy CRAZY woman. So, never doubt your love for your son, this is just a rough patch, but it will pass.

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    1. "You seemed to love your baby more than I did"....thank you so much for this. The other day I actually Googled "I don't love my baby enough" because I was at a point where I could actually imagine just leaving him with my in-laws for a week or more to go on vacation and not even thinking about him while I was away, let alone aching to come back to him. It made me so worried that it meant I just didn't love him as much as I was supposed to...I mean, aren't new moms supposed to not want to be away from their babies for too long and feel horrible at the thought of not seeing them for an extended period of time? Even when I do get a "break" the longest I've been away from him was 12 hours a few weeks ago and it still didn't seem like enough. I wasn't freaking out to get home to him (except to get my boobs emptied). I felt so terrible about this and I just started to doubt everything. So, just knowing someone else maybe felt like this too helps more than you can know.

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  8. First of all, big hugs from over here. This sounds awful.

    Second, I can't help but notice that you were quick to credit his early good sleeping habits as good luck but are blaming yourself now that things got rough. That's so not fair! Either one - good sleepers or bad sleepers - is totally luck of the draw.

    It sounds like you've done everything exactly right and at this point it's time to enlist the help of professionals. Or even realize that it's just a phase and he WILL sleep, eventually, and not be harmed by this in the least.

    I have no experience or advice with the sleeping thing, but I'm here to raise my hand and say I've totally lost my temper and yelled at both my kids. My "miracle, all-I-ever-wanted, would have severed off all my limbs to have" kids. And then their little faces crumpled and they cried at my yelling and I felt like the absolute worst mother in the world. But that's reality - it's only human to get frustrated, and lose your temper, and not want to be around them sometimes - ESPECIALLY when you're sleep deprived and frustrated and haven't had a moment to yourself in such a long time.

    You are not fucking him up. Whenever I want to reaffirm that I'm a good mom, I just turn on the news or open up my Facebook news feed (because people love to share depressing stories). A few months ago, in the next town over, they found naked, feces-smeared toddlers tossing hypodermic needles out a third floor window while their parents were passed out downstairs. And I bet those kids sleep through the night. I'm sorry to have to go there, but you need to know you're a great mom. The fact that you care so much to think you might be a bad mom proves you're a good mom.

    You'll look back on this post one day and laugh, or cringe with remembering. I'm sorry you have to go through this. But you're definitely not alone, and you most definitely deserve to be a mother. Period.

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    1. 1) I think Q might be a sociopath. When I've broken down and yelled at him, or cried in front of him, he thinks it's hilarious. I'm not sure if I should be worried that he seems to be so lacking in empathy. ;)
      2) Yeah, ok, so I'm not the WORST mother out there. There's that, I guess. Also, fuck those people so hard.
      3) I'm really really good at not taking credit when something goes right, and shouldering more than my fair share of the burden when it goes wrong. I blame it on my Cathoic upbringing.

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  9. oh Aramis, I'm so sorry you are in this rough patch. It already sounds exhausting. SB doesn't nap much either (though we usually get 2 30min naps, occasionally longer ones) and I can totally relate to that being exhausting. When I was staying at home with her, I particularly loved it when my husband asked in the evening why I didn't get anything done around the house...
    I second the suggestions to get a babysitter (or family member, if anyone is willing to travel) to help and give you a break. Or can M take an afternoon off every once in a while? SB naps more in kindergarten than at home, not sure if playing there is more exhausting or the conditions are better or what not. I just figure it's good for both of us.
    And please remember - you are a wonderful and loving mom and totally deserve this baby. You'll get through this. Maybe chocolate helps - I was almost going to say coffee, but when I drink too much of that SB sleeps badly, so it's only decaf around here. But you've probably already ruled that out. Hugs.

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    1. Yes, chocolate helps. I comfort eat chocolate chips right out of the bag when he's crying out a nap. I knew January and February we're going to be hard even before the sleep issues hit, simply because it's the longest stretch we've had without a family visit (either them coming or us going) and I knew the cold and snow would make it more difficult for us to get in those long walks that were so helpful in breaking up the day during the summer and fall. I signed us up for a bunch of classes, so that's helped a little, and my mom and dad are coming again in March so I just have to hang on a little bit longer.

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  10. Hi, big hugs to you xx
    I have been following your blog for quite a while now as we have been in the same boat. We did ICSI and had a successful cycle which resulted in my daughter being born on April 9th 2015. She has been a bad sleeper right from birth and I am severely sleep deprived but I have now stopped fighting it, I just go with her flow and read her cues. With regards to getting a shower / things done, I put her in her cot with toys all around her and with children's tv playing. I get on with the things I need to while watching her on the monitor and popping my head into the room every now and then. On the whole she has great fun and she knows it's only going to be for a short time (half hour or so).
    I still have to rock and sway her to sleep at every nap, bedtime and when she wakes in the night (still between 3-8 times every night) which is a right royal nuisance. She definitely needs two naps a day, more often than not she has them both but sometimes she won't go down so she just goes to bed earlier on those days.
    We've had a sleep consultant in too but her methods didn't work either, which is when I decided to just quit fighting and let her be. I still have to fight to get her sleep sometimes but so long as I try to keep my heart rate down, I find she senses it and calms down too. If she continues to fight it, I also find taking a break and letting her have a kick or play helps her. I resume rocking when she shows her sleepy cues again.
    So after a lot of babble, my message is that you are doing a super good job but I would advise (from my experience) to stop trying to fix him.
    Lots of love and luck.
    Julia xxxx

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    1. Yeah, I definitely think Q can sense when I start getting ramped up (generally about 45 minutes into a nap attempt, not sure what's magical about that time frame but that's always when I seem to snap). Sometimes it helps to put him down and let him fuss, then when I pick him up again a few minutes later he seems more inclined to relax. Sometimes not. I'm sorry you're going through the same nonsense!

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  11. Oh man I can definitely relate to all of this. Paloma was always a good night sleeper and short day sleeper. Until about 9 months when she would wake all night long and take super short naps. I just ended up letting her cat nap her way through life just so she didn't get over tired. You cant physically force another person to sleep/keep sleeping. It wasn't until she was about 1 1/2 that she started taking longer naps. She had a lot of separation anxiety at that age, so quite often I'd just let her sleep in my arms while I watched a movie and it helped her nap longer. Co sleeping worked at night. Andino and I subscribe to the wait it out method of parenting and so far it's gotten us through. Probably not what you want to hear right now, because I remember being desperate at that time but it really will pass.

    I definitely had more than a few drinks during those days because when all else fails... haha

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  12. Oh man I can definitely relate to all of this. Paloma was always a good night sleeper and short day sleeper. Until about 9 months when she would wake all night long and take super short naps. I just ended up letting her cat nap her way through life just so she didn't get over tired. You cant physically force another person to sleep/keep sleeping. It wasn't until she was about 1 1/2 that she started taking longer naps. She had a lot of separation anxiety at that age, so quite often I'd just let her sleep in my arms while I watched a movie and it helped her nap longer. Co sleeping worked at night. Andino and I subscribe to the wait it out method of parenting and so far it's gotten us through. Probably not what you want to hear right now, because I remember being desperate at that time but it really will pass.

    I definitely had more than a few drinks during those days because when all else fails... haha

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    1. I guess there's a small mercy in that, at least...Q is (now, again) a decent night sleeper minus the early waking. I found it hardest to cope when I was up for hours in the middle of the night, for sure. And yes, there's been more than a little bit of wine consumed around here. There's a glass in my hand right now, if I'm being honest!

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  13. Reading your post is like looking back on that same age with my daughter. I drove myself crazy trying to get her to nap. I kept reading that babies at X age should take X number of naps per day and they should be 1,2, or 3 hrs long and she was getting 30 min tops once a day if I was lucky. I totally blamed myself and not having a break from her all day made me resent her too. I couldn't wait until bedtime. Which made me feel so guilty because she too was the product of fertility treatment and I had waited so long to be a mother. Huge hugs to you, I've totally been there and it's so hard.

    One thing that helped me was reading this website :https://www.preciouslittlesleep.com/
    You're probably already familiar with it but thought I would mention it in case you're not. There are a ton of suggestions on there. The author breaks down all of the sleep research out there and puts it into easy to follow posts. They also have a facebook group you can join and there are a ton of people on there that will respond to posts with helpful suggestions.

    Unfortunately, the only other thing that helped was time. I think it was just a developmental thing. I read that it takes some babies time to consolidate sleep and start taking longer naps and that didn't happen for my daughter until she was close to 1 year old. In the meantime I agree with the other comment that you can just put him in his crib or another safe area like playpen or gated off living room space with toys and take a breather when you need to. Don't feel guilty! It's better for both of you if you get a break every now and then.

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    1. I feel like I've read every single thing on the Precious Little Sleep website, and while I really like her approach none of it has really helped. It's all basically the same advice: your kid needs more sleep, try the following things (that I've already tried a million times, it feels like). I haven't gone to their Facebook page, so I might try that. Although I think you're right and at this point time might be the only thing left. He's been working on walking lately (he now lets go of things to set out across the room, and can take quite a few unassisted steps before he falls down) so I know that can mess with sleep too. Hopefully once he's got walking mastered things will calm down.

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    2. Ok walking or any other developmental milestone can definitely throw things off. I remember when my daughter started crawling she would just crawl in circles in her crib forever instead of napping. Well since you've read the website and you're doing everything on there anyway, maybe the Facebook group can still help. I've seen the blog author Alexis respond to posts on there, in addition to the other moms and dads. I found it to be good for troubleshooting.

      Other than that, you mentioned you're going back to work in 6 weeks. My nephew was such a bad day sleeper and the minute he started daycare he was taking 3 hr naps. My SIL was so pissed because she was home with him for months and couldn't get anything longer than 40 min out of him, despite trying CIO and every other thing under the sun. His naps at home on the weekend then improved as well. Hopefully your guy will follow suit. I know it doesn't make today any easier but maybe if you know there is light at the end of the tunnel? I personally was almost skipping back to work, I was so happy to get a break. It made me feel guilty back then but now my daughter is 2 and I know I'm a better mom because I get a break and some adult interaction.

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  14. I just want to ditto you on basically everything in this post. Our precious bub was a miracle after many losses and failed ICSI attempts so the mum-guilt hit hard! I blamed myself for everything that went wrong sure it was a sign that this was why we could never fall pregnant naturally - I wasn't cut out for motherhood... The things we tell ourselves and allow ourselves to believe in the depths of sleep deprivation and frustrations are absurd but feel SO big in the moment.

    I'm in Australia so I'm not sure if this link will help but a nurse at the local child health clinic recommended some videos on responsive settling / comfort settling that have been a god-send. Hearing from a professional that it was all completely normal but that there were still a few things left to try was an immense help. I was also breaking the feed-to-sleep routine as at 8 months old he was getting worse with his sleep than even his newborn days due to this sleep association. The videos are not amazing but did help. It's more about a little "tough love" but definitely not CIO, and hands on settling in the cot and listening to the difference in cries. The nurse said if after 45mins of comfort settling bub is still awake, get him up, play and try again when you see the tired signals once more. Don't beat yourself up. It has helped him learn to self-soothe. He never took a lovey or paci either but sometimes now will twirl his hair around his finger so I gave him an Aden&Anais satin-edge lovey and he will use it occasionally to stroke between his fingers (or chew on if the teething pain gets bad). We also use a darkened room (but not blacked out) and white noise to drown out/muffle noises.
    I know this may not help because every bub is different, but I figured being on the other side of the world, you may not have come across this so it wouldn't hurt to suggest it.
    All the best! It will get better... You are an awesome mum! No one is perfect at this motherhood gig - some are just better at editing the highlight reel on social media so you don't see the cracks, but they're definitely there!

    https://www.health.qld.gov.au/ellenbarronfamilycentre/html/vodcast.asp

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  15. I'm having the hardest time commenting on blogger blogs--everyone above stole my comments, but daycare is a godsend. A hardly sleeps at all, and it's not my problem. Then he comes home and crashes. Also, is there a high school girl who can help you out a couple hours after school? Give you a chance to nap, shower, cook, watch soap operas? I had one weekend of terrible sleep with A and I broke down. I can only imagine how hard it would be to deal with bad sleep each night. You're not a bad mom, just a mom who needs sleep.

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  16. Oh, sister, I feel you. My little Archer is 17 months old and has been a crappy sleeper from day one. I spent the first three months of his life holding him on my chest in a recliner because it was the ONLY way he would sleep. Turns out he had reflux and once we got him medicated, he'd finally sleep on his back. But he still takes forever to fall asleep (I have to rock and sing him to sleep, of course) and he still doesn't sleep through the night. I'm a fricking zombie. I just thank god that I don't operate heavy machinery for a living.

    I'm not sure I have any advice that hasn't already been suggested. Frankly, not much has worked for me so far. I recently had a friend recommend a blog to me about a mom who took her crappy sleeper to a sleep clinic for help. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but maybe there will be some helpful nuggets of advice in there for you: http://something-remarkable.blogspot.ca/

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  17. Hey there, so sorry you are going through this. I have been reading since before Q was born but never commented since I have thankfully never struggled with infertility (though I have miscarried and that's when I found your blog). I have a boy a few months older than Q and what really helped me was Moms on Call. I found out about it through my birth month group on what to expect and it really saved my sanity. I started doing it at 4 weeks and it worked really well for me, and the other people in my group. If you are interested, just google their website. Their kindle books are on Amazon. Oh, and I never bought their swaddle blanket etc, just used a regular one, but Q is too old for that anyway... Finally, from all I can see you are a wonderful mom!!! Don't let sleep deprivation lie to you. It's so normal to feel like a screw up, in fact, I've never met a first time mom who thinks she has it all together. But yeah, moms on call, can't recommend it enough. Hang in there!!!
    All the best from Bee

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  18. So I'm late to comment but just a few things went through my mind:

    -Izzy dropped her second nap around 10 months old. It was early, but some kids don't need that second nap.
    -I know a lot of kids have a 9 mo sleep regression as well. Maybe what you were doing as per the sleep consultant's suggestions was the right thing but the regression is messing all of it up?
    -Sleep deprivation is NO JOKE. Please don't think that you are a bad mother because you are not.
    -Breaks are KEY. While on maternity leave I used to put Izzy in a bouncy chair on the floor of the bathroom while I showered. Heck, she is over 2 years old and I sometimes put her in her crib with some books while I shower. Sometimes she cries, sometimes she is okay. Self-care is NECESSARY and a few minutes of crying is not going to harm Q.
    -Definitely crawling/walking/pulling up/etc are HUGE milestones and can mess up sleep.

    Sending lots of hugs and hoping that Q starts to sleep again for you! Otherwise, count down the weeks until daycare when you can get a break. I felt bad for looking forward to going to work but you know what? I'm a better mother with adult interaction and breaks from my child. And I'm over mom guilt.

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  19. I hate reading this! I'm so so sorry you and Q are struggling right now. I'm sure everyone has already said all of the things I want to say so I'll keep it simple. 1) You are an amazing mother. 2) This is not your fault just like it wasn't your doing when he was sleeping well. 3) I'm sorry you are going through this. 4) I hope it gets better soon. And lastly, have you tried putting him down after 2 hours? Mav is tired every two hours. Might try less awake time? Or maybe he's teething?

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I'm needy and your comments validate me. Help a sister out!