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Please help! No one is getting any sleep!

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  • Please help! No one is getting any sleep!

    DD is 2 yrs 9 mos. About 6 mos ago I more or less night-weaned her -- I nurse at bedtime and then not again until 5 or 6 am. Since then, she's been waking up once or twice a night several nights a week asking to nurse. I would gently tell her 'no, wait until morning' and snuggle her to sleep (she cosleeps the latter part of the night). Sometimes she would fuss, but usually settle down fairly quickly.

    This last week or so, things have taken a sharp turn. She'll wake up and ask (demand) to nurse, and I do the same as before, and she instantly goes into a full-blown tantrum. Screaming, thrashing around, demanding hugs from me (NOT Daddy). If I try to hug and snuggle her, she micromanages how I hug her ('no, like dis, mama! NOT like dat!') and insists I'm not hugging her tightly enough. It escalated last night to the point where I (gently as I could manage) carried her into the living room. I told her calmly that it's not OK to yell in bed, everyone needs quiet to sleep, and we would go back in when she could calm down. I don't like telling her to stifle her emotions (and probably could have acknowledged her obvious distress a little better) but I was literally at the end of my rope.

    DH and I both work full time and DD goes to daycare -- cosleeping has always been a wonderful way to reconnect, but this is not sustainable! I don't know if this is a phase, but if it continues I'm not sure what I'll do. I'm not at my best at 3am! I'm starting to dread going to bed at night.

    Thanks in advance for any wisdom!

  • #2
    No real advice yet, as we are in the same exact situation. I can't believe I'm fighting with my 3 yr old in the middle of the night - we are literally yelling back and forth at eachother. This is after several months of her only asking once in the middle of the night and accepting a "wait until the sun comes up" type of response. Giving her an answer really does seem to help, even if it's not completely solving the problem. If I tell her a quick story, or reassure that we will have milk again soon, we manage to never fully wake and things are okay.

    My 3 month old, on the other hand, is sleeping through the night.. This is definitely not how I pictured things happening!


    • #3
      Kasey - I'm so sorry to hear that you're in a similar situation; it just sounds amazingly stressful. Alas, attempts at negotiation just escalate the matters for us. We're hoping that these intense needs can be met in a variety of ways, so we're working hard to identify emotions, help her develop self-soothing skills, and provide lots of support. It is hardest on my partner, though, as I'm sure it is on you. Thank you, though, for your reply. I was beginning to think that we're just so strange that no one can relate at all. We struggle with feeling like horrible parents for letting this situation develop. All the best to you!


      • #4
        Since this just started a week or so ago, did something happen? Have you been putting in more hours at work, are you going back after a vacation or a 3 day weekend, is she hitting a new milestone, did someone at daycare have something scary happen that she heard about, is there a new daycare provider? It sounds like she is looking for a stronger reconnection and nursing is the strongest way she knows. When my daughter weened we replaced it with reading books, not what you want to do in the middle of the night though. But I would try and overflow her Love Bank of connection right before bed. We would read 4 or 5 books before she went to sleep that seemed to help her get through the night. Maybe spending some extra special time with her. I remember in one of the tele-seminars about play they talked about when your child is micromanaging your play they are actually telling you that your relationship is broken and they are trying to take the control and fix it. I've found that to be true with my daughter. Good Luck!