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Old 06-21-2006, 05:19 PM   #1
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Nap help, im desperate!

Ok mommas. I need help!!!

My dd is 8 months old and since birth has taken 30 minute naps. Not a second longer. Now she is down to 2 naps a day, midmorning and mid afternoon. My 2 yo is taking one nap in the afternoon from about 1-1.5 hours. My problem is im EXHAUSTED. No matter how early i go to bed, i cannot keep my eyes open all day. Im on supplements, trying to take nightly walks or runs and really care for myself. My dd is up every 2 hours nursing at night and co-sleeping, which doesnt help for night time sleep. I also am fighting something called Graves Disease, so caring for myself is VITAL. My problem is i need to nap during the day. At least one. And whenever i finally fall asleep after dd does, she wakes me up within 15 mins of falling asleep (i take awhile to pass out) and then after that little cat nap im even more exhausted.

I have nobody who can come and care for the girls an hour a day, just so i can sleep. My mom has bi-polar and is at a bad time in her life and i have yet to find a reliable sitter in the area, though we have been interviewing a few. Plus i hate to pay someone while i sleep, as money is super tight these days. We have put 2 dark comforters over the window in our room in hopes of the darkness helping, but it hasnt changed. I have tried lavender scents in the room, music, sleeping with her in my arms, having her sleep in the crib. And nothing is working.

So im at a loss as to what to do. Is there any reason she is taking such short naps? Is there anything i can do to get her to take longer naps? Please help momma's i really feel as if im going to lose it from lack of sleep.

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Old 06-21-2006, 05:59 PM   #2
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Re: Nap help, im desperate!

ihave no clue sorry
i was gonna metnion the no cry sleep solution by e pantley but ti seeems you were doing some tips off of her book,right?
sosorry i dunno
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Old 06-21-2006, 08:41 PM   #3
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Re: Nap help, im desperate!

Yes i am, i actually bought the book before she was born and read it the first few weeks. She was naturally a great nighttime sleeper. Put herself to sleep in her crib and would sleep 7 hours straight, so i wasnt stressing over the short nap times. But then 4 months hit and like a switch she quit sleeping alone and all night. So i pulled the book out again, and still no dice. And there doesnt seem to be much advice for naptimes. But thanks for the hugs, !!!
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Old 06-21-2006, 08:58 PM   #4
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Re: Nap help, im desperate!

That's a tough situation. Basically, you may have to weigh your needs against hers. If she slept through the night at one point, she's capable of doing it again. I know I'll get flamed for this, but under the circumstances, do you think it might be worth it to give up on the cosleeping, and encourage her to sleep through the night again? At that age, she really can do it. Once she's used to a longer sleep cycle, she might even take longer naps, too.

Changing back will mean lots of tears and screams for a few nights, then blessed relief. Given the way that the lack of sleep is affecting your health and your ability to parent as a result, it may be the kindest and most loving thing you can do, even though it will rip your heart out for the first few nights.

Just my
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Old 06-22-2006, 06:30 AM   #5
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Re: Nap help, im desperate!

I find that using "white noise" as a sleep cue/sleep association really helps. I have a CD of lullabyes (instrumental) with nature sounds; I put it on "repeat" while the kids are falling asleep for naps/bedtime and leave it on ALL the time they're asleep. It takes a couple weeks, but they start ot associate it with sleep and fall asleep faster, go back to sleep easier.

Also, for naptime -- make the room as dark as possible, have your white noise playing quietly...I don't know how your room is set up, is there any way you can babyproof so she can play on the floor or something and you can doze?
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Old 06-22-2006, 07:16 AM   #6
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Re: Nap help, im desperate!

I am not sure if I am much help but I do everything in my power to wear the kids out for their afternoon nap. Fresh air, walks, sprinkler play, anything and everything. My dd is nearly 4 and still co sleps, I really need her to sleep in her bed (baby will be arriving soon) but no way is she having it. If I wear her out enough in the am she will sleep from like 1-3:30 and that is MY time. Nothing else works for her so no other real tips, sorry. All children are different and she just may not be a sleeper. Does she nap in your bed as well? Maybe try having her nap in her crib and *hopefully* when she wakes she can play quietly in her crib for a bit, any chance there?
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:01 PM   #7
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Re: Nap help, im desperate!

My daughter had/still sort of has trouble transitioning between sleep cycles and tends to pop awake. I was able to curb this by napping with her or staying near when she was napping so I could hear her stir. I would then tend to her and replace her pacifier or nurse her back to sleep. After awhile she began to handle transitioning on her own.

Good luck, I know it's tough!
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Old 06-22-2006, 07:30 PM   #8
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Re: Nap help, im desperate!

OK- I was in your shoes not too long ago! I had to go bcak to work full time- teaching 5th grade- and had an infant at home who did not sleep through the night. On a good night he would only wake twice but I woke up exhausted and seemed to never catch up. I was a BEAR! Cried at the drop of a hat- lost patience with everyone over silly things.

I was waiting to be home with him full time this summer before I tackled the nighttime sleep issues but one day I just had enough. I was reading Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child out of desperation- begging for answers- and decided that I was ready to help him get a good nights sleep so I could do the same. (Like your daughter he was a great sleeper up until around 4 months)

So I started nursing him to sleep in the chair and laying him in the crib (in the corner of our bedroom) If he woke up when I layed him down I soothed him by rubbing/patting his back and calmly and quietly repeating the same phrases- you're okay- mama's here- it's time for nite-nite- lay down. Sometimes I could sooth him to sleep and other times he would just get up over and over and try to get me to pick him up. But I always stayed calm and just repeated that mantra (partly to calm myself I think!) I never picked him up unless he was just hysterically sobbing and I wanted to try to sooth him and calm him down (this happened onceor twice after I had left the room and come back). I never nursed him a second time or took him out of the room. If he was twisting and trying to get out of my arms I calmly set him in his crib and repeated the phrases and walked out of the room. If he kept standing up when I was trying to rub his back and help him sleep I did the same (spoke calmly to him and left the room.)

If he kept crying, I went back in to the room and again did my soothing technique and if he layed down I would sooth him to sleep. Otherwise I would leave again then come back. My plan was to sooth for 4-5 minutes then leave for 5, then 7 then 10 minutes. But I found just doing what felt right instead of watching the clock worked just fine.

The first night he cried on and off for almost an hour at bedtime ( I was there soothing on and off.) My DH started telling me that I was doing it all wrong and if I wanted to do this I just needed to leave him alone in there to cry it out. He thought that by going in to sooth and leaving again it was making it harder on my DS. I told him I could not just leave him- I needed him to know that I was still there and I wanted to help him through this really hard transition. He cried again around 2 am for close to an hour. But didn't wake up till morning and was his happy little self! I wasn't sure if I could make it through another hour of crying that night but I was determined to see this through.

That night he cried when I layed him down and I only went in to sooth twice before he was asleep. At 2 am I soothed once and talked to him from my bed (my mantra) after that one more time before he fell asleep.

The third night he complained when I layed him down but when I soothed he put his little head down and went to sleep. Same thing at 2 am.

This was about 2 months ago and he sleeps in his crib in our room from the time I lay him down at 7:30 until 5:30 when he comes to snuggle and nurse in bed with us. I was so hesitant to do it and thought it was going to be sooo much worse than it really was! I think the key for him was consistency on my part. And the key for me was being able to follow my instincts and go in even though everyone said I should just leave him and let him cry it out alone.

I truly believe that it was the best thing I could have done! I am much more rested and patient and happy than I was before and he is just finer than fine! He sleeps an hour in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon most days now that he is sleeping so well at night.

Check out that book I mentioned and come up with a plan. Be REALLY consistent in implementing your plan and tell yourself again and again that sleep is like a vitamin- you need it- she needs it- and helping her learn to sleep through the night is a good thing! I promise you will be sooo glad you did it when you wake up from your first full night of sleep!

Good luck-
Wendy
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Old 06-22-2006, 07:56 PM   #9
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Re: Nap help, im desperate!

We used to co-sleep and my ds never slept more than 2 hours at a stretch so of course neither did I! In desperation one night I cleaned out the crib put a sheet on and tried it. He slept 3-4 hour stretches right away. It was no fun having to sit up in a chair and nurse but if I brought him to bed instead I was always sorry! He'd wake up 2 hours later like clockwork. With me nursing in the chair and laying him in his crib, it got better and better until he was waking only twice a night to nurse. Any time I would bring him to sleep with me (it is so snugly and cozy!) he would go right back to waking every 2 hours. Last week he was not sleeping well because of teething and I brought him in my bed to nurse at 10:45 and he slept through the night. First time ever!! I am so happy to know that now that he has learned to sleep through the night we can co-SLEEP!
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