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Feeling guilt as I prepare to sleep through the night tonight

 
pollinator
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My baby is no longer a baby. She's 1. She still doesn't sleep. Like really. She was up 3 times last night, 4 the night before. We try ignoring her as much as we can but she's in our bedroom and she is really good at crying.

Tonight, however, we are moving her out of our room. She is going to be alone in a room for the first time and while I bought a baby monitor I know that at this point I am so tired I am likely to turn it off and fall back asleep.

That's where I am though. I'm so exhausted that I don't even really like my baby right now. Her voice grates on me. She was wanting cuddles this morning and I was just mad at her. So mad at her for keeping me up so much at night.

So, I feel bad. I feel awful actually. She needs to sleep though. It's time. I plan to ignore my baby tonight and hopefully it doesn't take long for her to get the message and begin sleeping.
 
pollinator
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That's a tough one.  All I can say is good luck.  
 
pollinator
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You seem like a very good Mom to me from all your posts, and deserve some sleep! She will be better off too, all that crying is exhausting, but it’s the only way to get the only fix she knows—you!  We all need to learn to be alone and sleep is inevitably a solo journey, and that still scares many adults. You are doing the right thing.
 
gardener
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Hang in there! You've done this before and you can do it again. You're teaching skills, not depriving her of something. The anger, I wouldn't beat yourself up about. You're physically exhausted, which affects your emotions. Hopefully you get the first of many good nights worth of sleep tonight.
 
master pollinator
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Stay strong Elle! This can be a difficult transition.

By the way, a mom of 8 informed me that the devil invented the baby monitor. You may want to get that thing out of your house!
 
pollinator
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I was the kid who wouldn't sleep. Still am, it's been a lifelong struggle with insomnia. My brain has no "off" button.

Speaking from the child's perspective, it might help to put toys within reach. What little I remember of being that age, a lot of the nighttime crying was because I was bored.

Toys, or those child-proof picture books, might help. If you go with the books, don't be surprised if she learns to read at an early age.
 
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In all honesty, you brought a baby to term and gave birth... and then gave a damn... rock on!  Millions of babies each year in the US don't make it that far.  My siblings didn't, because my dad killed them, kicking my mom when she was pregnant.  Yeah, that is horrible and personal.... and maybe someone will think it so upsetting they delete it and send me a nasty warning.  But, It is true.  Hellish, but true.  You have my respect.  I never miss an opportunity to hold a door, carry something or give a kind word to a good parent, including dads who care.  
 
elle sagenev
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I'm rather a danger to myself and others because of my level of exhaustion so it must happen.

I don't know that she's bored. A lot of the time she'll be laying there crying and will instantly fall back asleep when I pick her up. I have brought her into bed with me more times than I should admit to just so I can get a few hours sleep. She barely naps or sleeps at night. I'm pretty sure she's living off of the soul she's sucking out of me.

My husband does get up as well but even when he does get up with her the crying wakes me up and then I just lay there listening to her cry until she falls back asleep.

So, moving her out. Trying not to feel bad at the fact that she'll likely be crying a lot of tonight, and tomorrow night, etc. and I'm not going to get up.
 
master steward
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It's so hard. With my son, I would try to nurse him back to sleep and put him back in his crib in our room. I would do this over and over all night, and I would get so little sleep. And I couldn't fall asleep after he passed out. I lived in a depressed morass for 2.5 years until he finally took took to sleeping by himself (my milk dried up because I was pregnant, and so I transitioned him to his bed. My memories of the time are super hazy as to exactly how I got him sleeping in his bed. I think I patted and sang him to sleep--which would take sometimes an hour or more). Of course, because I got him sleeping through the night, this included sleeping so soundly that he wouldn't wake up to pee. We dealt with bed wetting until he was 5, I think.

My daughter still sleeps in bed with me. She's four. I wasn't going to be (as) sleep deprived with her, so I just co-slept. She continued to wake up every 1.5 hours through the night until she was 3 1/2. But, she was night trained at like 2. And, since she was in bed with me, 90% of the time, I could stay sleepy when she'd wake up and need me. While my sleep wasn't perfect, it was better than with my son.

She's 4 now, and we're trying to get her to sleep in her own bed. It takes about an hour a night of sitting in there (I read a book with a dim light, to maintain my sanity) until both kids are asleep. And then she sleeps in there for about 3 hours, which is when I take her to my bed and co-sleep.

I don't think there's any perfect options for any of this. I sure haven't found them! But your sleep and sanity are super important, and I know mine was really breaking when I was going through what you are. It's HARD.

Oh, and I was also the kid that didn't sleep through the night until I was 3. And even then, it'd take me 2+ hours to fall asleep. My brain just couldn't shut off. I'd lay awake watching the moon, or counting the squares on my curtain, or praying, or recounting my memories or making up stories. I never wanted to be awake. I actually begged my mom once to bap me upside the head with a baseball bat so I could pass out. Bed time was 8:00pm, and I was often still awake until past 11:11pm. That's over 3 hours of laying in bed, staring at my clock, trying desperately to pass out.

Some things that help me sleep better now, is having white noise, and also black out curtains. I need it to be DARK. If there's light, it has to be red light, to help my body know it's bedtime.  
 
pollinator
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God, I feel that. So I’m the primary parent of our twin daughters, and my wife really didn’t go in for the idea of sleep training. After about a year of terrible sleep deprivation, I finally said “we are doing this.” And it worked, and worked quickly.

The technique we used was adapted from Ferber, who wrote Happiest Baby on the Block. It works like this:

1. Establish a bedtime routine. Brush teeth/gums, change diapers, read a book.

2. Put the baby into the bed.

3. Sing a little song, say a prayer, a poem, whatever. But keep it consistent. Having the same soundscape and words helps prime the child for sleep. We used a book called All The World. Lovely rhythm. Great messaging. And it worked for us until they were almost four.

4. Leave the room and close the door.

5. Here’s the good part that feels like magic. Sit down within earshot and if your baby starts crying, ***set a timer for exactly ONE minute. When your bag is wailing, your ability to judge time absolutely disappears. I was consistently shocked at how often I thought the minute was up, and it was like 10 seconds. DO NOT go back into the room until the minute is up.

6. After the minute is up, if they are still crying, go in, give them a little kiss, a pat, whatever, but don’t pick them up unless they have a pressing physical need (puke, soiled diaper). Crying doesn’t count. Just let them that they aren’t abandoned. Leave again after a moment. Be strong.

7. If the baby starts crying again, set a timer for two minutes. Repeat above.

8. Then three minutes. Then four. Then five.

9. Don’t go beyond five minutes, but we never actually had to go past four.

This technique sleep trains a kid in just a few days. One of our daughters took three days. The other one slightly over a week. It is not cruel. It is not unkind. It teaches the child that just because they aren’t being rocked to sleep doesn’t mean that they have been abandoned.

Good luck! You’ll get through this.

-Daniel
 
elle sagenev
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Thank you all. It has been about 9 years since I had a baby that didn't sleep. My oldest was a terrible sleeper as well but had night terrors and man, that's terrifying! I remember being better with him. More resolute. I'd put him to bed and sit in the rocker in the room reading until he fell asleep, never picking him up. Our middle child, who is 7, slept like a champ from birth. Something about this being our last child and how much older we are is making me soft. I just want to cuddle her all the time. However I am a danger to myself and others at this point. I shouldn't be driving. So, have to sleep train. I'll try to set a routine. Thank you Daniel. I've never been good at the night routine.  

I think she's asleep now. Going to sneak out. I won't come back tonight. I just can't.
 
elle sagenev
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Well, I slept until 3am and it was glorious. She usually gets up at 3 so my body just woke me up. I did check on her, she was fine, and went back to bed. It feels so nice to have slept!
 
master gardener
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Elle, it's been a very long time, for me - but, some things, you just remember. My first born slept, ate, and grew rapidly (genetic hormonal thing). He was pretty easy, if I could keep his tummy full enough to keep up with his insanely rapid growth. My second, on the other hand, didn't sleep. And we lived with my inlaws - I couldn't let her cry, at night, because my fil worked days. I couldn't let her cry during the day, because my mil worked nights. So, if Chelsea didn't sleep - I didn't sleep. It was apparently payback for my infantile treatment of my parents! When she was 6mos old, we finally managed to get out of their house, and the first night, I did exactly the same as you. She still didn't sleep - but, after a few nights, she finally let me sleep, and found ways to self-comfort. But, that first 6 months, I stumbled around, in tears, my whole body in pain, my brain mush. I so deeply understand and empathise. You'll get through it, and so will she, and you'll like her, again. It's entirely possible to deeply love your offspring, and still not *like* them. I hope this learning phase is short, and you ALL finally get the rest you so desperately need.
 
Tereza Okava
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Great news, Elle.
I think any parent who has been through a situation like this can sympathize. I also don't remember the first year, like no memories whatsoever that are not pictures (thank God we took pictures). The crying was constant and affected me viscerally, it is hard to even explain, I veered between total zombie and just raging furious until I finally got some help (and some sleep).

A funny thing about that- I was so afraid someone was going to call Childrens Services on us because of the crying (it happened, it was not a big deal, some kids cry and by that point we had help and we had Early Intervention and other resources on board). Luckily for us, we were in an apartment where the only neighbor that might have been truly bothered..... had been the lead singer in a rather loud rock band and had selective hearing loss- couldn`t hear high-pitched sounds. I went down there to apologize at one point and he was only vaguely aware that I even had babies up there. Small blessings!!!

Hang in there, we're cheering for you.
 
elle sagenev
pollinator
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I think my husband is feeling it too if his comic from last night is any indication.

I did have the baby monitor on last night but she was pretty good. I didn't have to get up though I did hear her wake up several times. She put herself back to sleep within minutes.
get-you-some-sleep-1.jpg
[Thumbnail for get-you-some-sleep-1.jpg]
 
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