We've had ongoing issues with our daughter's sleep, and I wanted to put some of them out there to see what kind of responses I got.
She's a very wakeful child. Wants to see everything around her all the time. I love that about here. Except at naptime or at bedtime.
We're on day 5 of a napping strike, and I've started to grow accustomed to not having her nap, because it cuts so much tension out of my day: putting her down for a nap, which may or may not work, and the 1 to 1 1/2 hours of putting her down at night. When she doesn't nap, by and large, she's asleep very early and within 15 minutes, because she's so tired. And she's a pretty easy kid to have around during the day, because she doesn't unravel when she's tired. But she starts to look very tired, and I look at her and think, god she needs to sleep.
So, it's tempting to think about giving up naps altogether, even though I don't believe with any part of my being that it's best for her.
The other thing with naps is this: If she wakes up at 7ish in the morning, she isn't ready for a nap usually until 1:30 or so. If she sleeps until 3:30, she isn't ready for bed until 9:00 or so and then an hour to an hour and a half to put her down. She just can't settle. I find that to be an incredibly long day, and I feel like a crappy parent saying that. Or if I put her down when she's finally tired in the afternoon (if she doesn't go down at 1:30), then she's waking up at 5:00 and up until god knows when.
It's very challenging to have a child that has no predictability in the way she sleeps. The only thing predictable is how unpredictable it all is, which I suppose is my lesson in all of this.
But we've practiced AP from the beginning, so I give and give and give and give all day long. At the end of the day, I'm ready for some time with myself and my husband, which is rare.
I don't mean to sound like a whiner. I get that this parenting thing is all give . . . and I'm so committed to it. I'm just struggling with watching my daughter go around and around and around with sleep. And sometimes I'm okay, and sometimes I lose my temper, and I hate myself for that. I wonder how many times I can do that without doing damage. Seriously. Tonight I was at the end of my rope and threatened to leave the room if she couldn't fall asleep. She, of course, started crying and screamed,"I'm done with you, Mommy!" Of course, that cut me deep, because she's heard me say a variation of that--never like that to her!--because I've said,"I'm so done with this!" when I'm struggling with her sleep. But when she regurgitated my words back to me like that, I realized that I must be doing damage of some sort. That must be her interpretation of what I say.
And that's the worst feeling in the world.
So, I'm not sure what types of changes to make in our routine or what could help. She used to breastfeed to sleep to nicely, but now it seems to be more of a stimulant than a way to relax. We co-sleep, so I'm laying there with her until she falls asleep, which, many nights, is a wonderful way to do it. And on other nights, it's frustrating and I feel trapped, because I'm there for so long.
Some of the change is within me and knowing that my child is who she is. And some of it seems like it needs to change.
I just haven't a clue what that means or what to do. I feel completely lost in the midst of this.
So, I hope this makes sense. Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.