Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Mother's Thanksgiving Plea for Advice: Please Help Me!

Alright ladies, I need help. I am one night away from completely loosing it. Asher WILL NOT SLEEP. I need advice on bedtime routine, what to do when he wakes up, should we ditch bottles all together etc. Asher is almost 14 months old mostly walking, but not talking at all yet. He is a good napper and usually naps once a day but sneaks in a little afternoon cat nap in the car if needed. But here are the problems I'm facing:

Problem #1: We give him water in this bottle during the day he's addicted to it. He whines for it ALL DAY LONG. Which living in Arizona I haven't really cared because he needs to drink water and let's face it, it keeps him quiet and happy in stores and at friends homes etc. He will drink from a sippy cup but it comes out so much faster that he fills his mouth then spits it out and ends up with a soaking wet shirt. He hasn't master the straw sippy yet and mostly gets frustrated with it.

Problem #2: Our current bedtime routine consists of either the hubs or I snuggling up with Asher and giving him 12..yes TWELVE ounces of milk in his Bottles(s) (one ounce less and he screams) to go to sleep. He falls asleep on the bottle and we put him in bed.

Problem #3: Every night before we go to bed we have to sneak in and change his diaper while he's asleep or he'll pee the bed. Stupid 12 oz of milk.

Problem #4: Now is where the big problem comes in. Anywhere between 12:30-2am Asher will wake up. He usually wakes up screaming and won't give up and go back to sleep. On nights that he wakes up and doesn't scream he'll crash around his crib, try to get out and chew the wood crib rail like a freaken beaver. Regardless of the behavior he WILL NOT go back to sleep and days he doesn't start out screaming it will still usually come later. The only way we've been able to get him back to sleep each night is another bottle with water. Usually only 2-4oz does it but still, it's ANOTHER bottle.

Problem #5: After this midnight wake up he repeats this every 2 hours until he's up for good at 7am. You can see why I'm about to loose it!

He was a fantastic sleeper, slept through the night no problem and woke up happy until about 9months. Asher and I went to Canada for a month and everything went to crap. He would constantly wake up in the night and I was worried he'd wake up my parents so I shoved a bottle in his mouth. Yes I take complete blame for this addiction. Ever since this behavior pattern started it has only gotten worse. I need it to stop before baby #2 arrives in March or I may as well check myself into the loony bin. 

What do I do? I'm thinking the 1st step is getting rid of the bottles all together. Cold turkey, pack them up - gone. He can have a sippy cup for his water and milk at night. But how do I transition bedtime? Give him milk an hour before bed so he can pee it out before hand and fall asleep without it? What do you do in your family that's worked for you? Please leave a comment with any advice you have for me! I need it big time. I'm labeling Black Friday as D Day for all this to go down. The hubs will be in town for a good couple days strait to back me up so please, please help!

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Chrissie said...

I'm so sorry you're having trouble!! I have been there, and although it takes different things for different babies, here's what worked for me. We let her cry. And it absolutely broke my heart, but we had been patting her or rocking or singing her to sleep, and some nights it was taking hours for her to fall asleep! She was used to nursing before she went to sleep, so we switched it up with a new system, eating, then bath, then books, then bed. We still do that although we don't bathe every night anymore. (She's 27 months now).

It took maybe a week, but everyone assured me that at a year she really didn't need to eat or drink during the night, and she really needed to learn to sleep. She was much happier once she started getting longer sleep sessions. I will admit she uses pacis at night, and maybe that would help him transition from needing to drink at night unless you're against them. And she often wakes up around 6am and gets in our bed for the rest of the night, but it works for us. She falls asleep on her own and almost never cries anymore. He will grow out of it!! Good luck!

Jax @ AlyandAsh said...

Thanks so much Chrissie, I wish Asher would take a paci, once he got his first tooth he refused. (4 months old)Now that water or milk doesn't come out of it forget it! ha-ha! That's a good idea for bedtime routine. Asher won't sit still for books yet though. But food, bath and bed would be good. I think the longest we have allowed Asher to cry is like 20 minutes (that felt like 20 hours) He really never cries, just whines during the day so when he cries it's so panicked that we worry. He coughs and sounds like he's choking and we cave quickly. Arg. How long are you supposed to let them cry?

Mandi said...

I would go cold turkey. It seems like he is waking up just for the bottle. How old is he? If he is over 6 months he will not starve if he doesn't eat or drink anything all night long. I love the Ferber method. His books talks a lot about routines and our bodies circadian rythms. I tried it with my son at year plus and in 2 nights he slept all night long and does not wake up anymore ever.

Jax @ AlyandAsh said...

Great, thanks Mandi! I'll look into that!

srldesign said...

Oh girl! It's okay...we as mother's know the trouble and how terrible it can be to hear your little one cry. But I agree, you need to nix those bottles ASAP!!! Once you get rid of them, and he never sees them again, the quicker he will transition. I say give him as much water (in a sippy) during the day as possible to for-go giving him them at night. This will definitely lessen the amount of pee in the diaper at night. Everyone should really have a bedtime routine...this way the child knows exactly what will happen next and they won't be guessing or surprised at when he goes to bed. The thing is your little man won't die from not having any water at night,especially if he is getting enough during the day, so letting him cry isn't code that you are starving him. ;-) He is testing you...he knows that when he cries long and hard, mommy and daddy will come in with a bottle for me. Seriously, they are smart little devils!! They know how to work us with all that charm, cuteness, and unbelievable crying that breaks our hearts. I use the same technique that Supernanny uses. If they wake during the night, allow them to cry for a little bit(like 5 or so min), then if it doesn't stop, go in, sit next to the bed, no touching, no eye contact, no talking...REALLY!!! This all works, my husband used to make the mistake of trying to calm them down by talking to them and cuddling, but they never fall back asleep with him. but with me, they do!! That is where you have to be consistent. I know it's the worst thing to hear, but really it works. He may cry and cry for a good week, demanding that bottle before bed or in the middle of the night, but if you are consistent and can push through all the crying, he will get the point and stop. You can do it, you're not being a horrible mother, you are doing a wonderful job and actually giving him more sleep once this all passes. Keep at it girl, and there will be sleep for you and your lil man!!! Good luck =)

Jax @ AlyandAsh said...

Sara thank you so much for your advice and kind words, you made me tear up a little! Its so hard now that he stands up and reaches for me when crying.

Charity Donovan said...

I totally agree with Sara! My first son nearly killed me! He was still trying to leave his bed & come to ours at 6 years old! I was getting NO sleep! The longer you wait to try the "cry it out" method...the harder it is. The Super Nanny method works. I have 3 yr old quads & the are all self-soothers because I was "tough" in the beginning because I knew I had to be! Do it now or when you move him to a big boy're real nightmare will begin! Packing the bottles away is really the best move. You can totally do it! It may be a rough 4 nights but after that...SMOOTH sailing I promise! SOOOOOO worth it. Good luck...this momma stuff is so hard! :)

Susan said...

Let him cry. I remember my Dad saying "Never heard of a baby dyin'n from cryin'!" I thought I would, but after a couple of days, my kiddos slept through the night and we never looked back! SOooo worth it for ALL of you to get a good night's sleep!

Dear Lillie said...

Ahhh - I have no advice to give! We just happened upon this problem ourselves and are about to die of exhaustion too! Our daughter is almost 2 and all of the sudden after being a fine sleeper refuses to go to bed. We have tried letting her cry it out (which we did at 8 weeks when we moved her from our bed to her crib and it worked) this time it did not - after several nights of crying so hard she would make herself throw we gave up on that. We have tried everything under the sun these past two weeks with no luck! I feel your pain! =)

Stacie Hogan said...

I dont know how much he will understand since he is so young but we got my daughter off taking her cup to bed last week by going cold turkey. I let her have a TINY bit of milk in a cup before bed and thats it. I tell her shes a big girl and she doesn't need it. It has worked really well. I would totally say do the cold turkey. it worked for us. Good luck!

Chocolate Drool and Kisses said...

I agree with just about everyone, get rid of the bottles, if there gone you cant break down and give him one. With sleeping our son would wake every hour all night until we cried it out, and we tried everything before, my advice though is dont go in the room at all, when we went in our sons room us being there just made him scream louder because we wouldnt comfort him, our first night he cried for an hour yes it was hard, I cried but he fell asleep and didnt wake up again till the morning and the next night he only cried for 5 min. It wont hurt him to cry, and he is 14 months he will be ok. But you and your husband have to be on the same page, because if he goes in the next night you have to start all over again! We had a problem with giving our son water at bed and him peeing through I talked to some moms and they suggested tapering off with the water, doing half as much and just telling him no more, he is old enough to understand that. He may not talk but he knows words when you talk to him, he sounds like a very smart little boy and like one of the other comments, he is testing you. I wish you tons of luck! It will be hard! Let us know what you end up doing and how it works out.

Kristy said...

The cry it out method is hard and sad but is so worth it in the end! My son cried for an hour and a half the first night and just about as long for the next two nights. It did get a little shorter each night but it WAS HARD. My husband had to work so he honestly would put in ear plugs so he could sleep! I would lay in bed and cry :( But after one week it is awesome. So worth getting your night back before your baby comes!! Good luck!! YOU CAN DO IT!! :)

Mrs. Blimes said...

Oh how I feel your pain sister! We went thru the WORST time with our little boy when it came to bed time. The only thing that FINALLY worked was just letting him cry it out. It was sad and so hard for me to do (he didnt like it much either) but after a week or so he figured out no one was coming to get him and he'd just go to sleep (or back to sleep) in his own. It is hard but I really felt like putting himself to sleep was a skill he needed (and I needed him) to have. Good luck! And congrats on baby number 2! I am loving your nursery ideas btw! I'm due with our second boy April 3rd so we're not too far apart prego wise! Your blog is adorable and don't worry, your baby boy will figure it out in time!


Anonymous said...

Hello! I found you at Be Different Act Normal.
I am afraid I don't have a solution to the sleeping patterns but I do have a suggestion for the day-time bottle. I too live in Arizona and give my daughter water all day. It is pretty much a necessity! When I was taking her off the bottle and moving the sippy she pretty much refused. The sippy cups with the soft spout worked ok, but the winner what a child's sports bottle. It did not leak as much as an adults, and gave her the feel of a bottle without the actual bottle.

Suezi said...

I too agree with everyone. NO more bottles and let him cry.
My oldest it did not take but a couple of long nights but my son was another story. he was a stubborn one and we had to change it up a bit. After about a week of no sleep we decided that we would do intervals of going in after about 20 minutes rub his back and then walk out. We eventually were up to about 35 minute intervals and after a couple of days he finally slept through the night. Good luck and remember that is it consistency in whatever routine you pick. they are smart little guys!

mmnielsen said...

There is a great book you can check out from the library or buy called, "Solve your Child's Sleep Problems" by Dr. Richard Ferber. We used it with all three of our children and I give it away at many baby showers. Whenever I have a friend or family member complain about their child and sleep, I recommend it. My sister started using it with her first baby right away and he is a fabulous sleeper (his name is Asher too!) My daughter and son have both suffered from night terrors and we have been able to fix this as well. Here is a link to the book on - Good luck and happy sleeping!

Amy said...

I would run to the bookstore and buy Goodnight Sleep Tight by Kim West. This book has been a lifesaver for us. We were having some sleep issues with our oldest and honestly, I don't know what I would have done if I didn't find her book.

She explains how children sleep and how to teach them to self-soothe and fall asleep. The chapters are divided by age and solutions to the different sleep problems you may encounter up to age 5 or 6.

Her sleep technique is much like Super Nanny's where you sit beside the child. I was really skeptical whether it would work. Crying it out did not work. But it did work! Goodluck and let us know how it goes.

crewmom said...

Just a couple he super thirsty all of the time with really wet diapers all of the time? You mentioned him soaking the bed so I wondered. If it seems as though he is constantly thirsty I would consider asking your doctor about a quick blood sugar check. Its just a finger prick. I doubt this is his problem but I would hate to not mention it if it were. Also, the bottles need to go. One way is to package them up and leave them on the front steps for the "bottle fairy". Talk it up for days first and explain the fairy leaves a big boy toy in exchange for bottles to give to new babies. When he gets up the next morning there could be balloons...confetti...and a toy waiting for him. I know you are expecting again and saving bottles to hand down would be handy but I bet Ash would remember them so a different bottle might be better for the new one. One other thought. I have six children and a bedtime routine helps more than anything. Here's ours:
1. Bath, jammies, lotion
2. pick out clothes for tomorrow
3. Get a drink of water or milk from kitchen...(nothing but water ever leaves the kitchen, a move might be a good time to implement new rule)
4. Brush teeth
5. Prayers
6. Tuck in bed with hugs and kisses
7. I or my hubby will sit in the hall outside the bedrooms and read to the kids for 15 min. Then we are off for parent time.
If a child gets out of bed we turn them around, walk them to bed, and tuck them back in. This time without saying ANYTHING and no extra hugs or kisses. We have had kids that needed us to do this 10 times in a row before they figured out staying in bed is easier. My sister had to do it about 100times for several nights.
I am sure you are sick of me but remember. This too shall pass. Someday he will sleep through the night and you will miss the nights he wanted you so bad. I promise. Hang in there. Good luck.

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