The big boy bed

Yesterday we decided it was time to get our son, who is 2.5, out of his crib and onto a mattress on the floor. Unlike other toddlers he wasn’t climbing out. He was breaking the crib from all his jumping.

So we moved everything out of his room, and I mean everything – dresser, bookshelf, rocking chair, I even took some pictures off the wall – and we moved our spare queen mattress and box spring into the room. Our plan was to get him a twin bed but we wanted to get him out of his crib sooner rather than later.

I was super nervous. But he did really well last night. My husband does his nighttime routine and that went well. We then heard him a little bit at the start of the night and then he was up at seven this morning.

Mind you he’s been very tired and temperamental all morning so we knows how much he actually slept.

I was nervous to put him down for his nap because he’s been fighting it so much lately but it was actually really sweet. He’s not asleep, I can hear him up there now but he’s not bouncing off the walls so that’s something.

I feel super emotional about this whole thing. My baby isn’t a baby anymore!

Struggling

Everything feels so hard right now. I feel like I’m walking around with a fake smile, holding it all in, trying so hard not to lose my shit. It’s not just one thing – it never is – but many small things that are piling up.  It’s my toddler who every day is testing, pushing limits, whining, throwing toys, and not listening.  It’s my 6 month old who is teething and not sleeping.  It’s my husband who I swear is on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  It’s that my parents were just here for two weeks and I had no space to breathe.

I feel it all physically in my body.  My back is tense, my neck is tight and I’ve been getting headaches.  I feel a lump at the base of my ribcage – a place where my breath has been sticking.  I feel it in my hips, my eyes, my ankles and my shoulders.

I feel it emotionally.  I want to open up to family and friends but I feel like the moment I start talking I will not be able to stop. I will not be able to stop the tears.  I feel angry.  I feel sad.  I feel distant.

I need to move my body.  I need to do yoga.  I need to go for massages and take care of my body.  I need to talk, communicate.  I need to release the anger.  Release the frustration.  Release the resentment.

My husband and I need to go to therapy.

Maybe I need to go to therapy on my own.

My son got accepted into a daycare program and starts in September.  I’ve got mixed feelings about it, but I know it’ll be good for him.  I also know it’ll be good for me.  I’m struggling and getting burnt out.  Why is this so hard?

Not a Good Day

I am sitting here listening to my son jump and yell in his crib (not cry, just talk very loudly) and it’s making me so angry.  I’ve been feeling angry every day for several days now.  Like really angry.  Like I need a break angry.

My 2.5 year old has stopped listening.  Today while we were at the park he took his boots off and ran away from me, toward the street, while I had my six month old in the ergo carrier.  I told him to stop.  Normally he stops.  Today he looked back, laughed and ran faster.

I can’t handle shit like this.  Especially on the little sleep that I’ve been getting.

I caught up to him, grabbed him, picked him up (with the baby on me) and put him in the stroller.  By the time we got home I was calmer but needing some breathing room.

Well, he’s refusing to nap – of course the one time my baby girl decides to take a long nap (she’s been out for 2 hours now). At least he’s not crying so I can leave him in there to jump and shout, but it’s hardly relaxing.

Plus there’s a fly buzzing around the living room and our neighbours are blaring their music.

I am on the verge of seriously losing my shit.  Having both kids home with me is so hard some days.

 

Sleep training fail 

So after one day of sleep training I have decided that it is just not something I can do right now. 

It was awful.

I won’t go into details but I will say that there was a lot of crying (both me and her), including a new cry that I hadn’t heard before and care not to hear again.

Like I said I had slept trained my son so I knew how hard it was going to be. I think it was bearable with him because we had no other option, the little dude desperately needed to sleep. 

We’re not at that point with her.

Like last night, even though it took me forever to get her to sleep, she slept from 9:30-8 with one quick feed at 5.

So yeah.

Seriously though that night, even though it was just an hour and I went in to check on her frequently, it was so painful for me. And then all the next day I felt so sad. So so sad. I cried so much that day.

So until sleep becomes a problem for her and not just me, I plan on holding off on the whole sleep training thing.

Sleep Training Begins Tonight

Our sleep situation has gone from bad to worse.  It took me over an hour to get her to sleep last night and even still she was up every hour until about midnight and then she was up for long stretches.  It’s all a bit of a blur to be honest.  She’s taken two naps today and both times it’s taken me over 30 minutes to get her down.  As much as I’d like to continue nursing her into a deep sleep, I just can’t leave my two year old alone downstairs for that long.

Today I feel completely out of sorts.  I am extremely sleep deprived as these kind of shenanigans have been going on for weeks.

Sweet baby girl, on the other hand, doesn’t seem bothered by the lack of sleep at all. In fact she’s really happy.   I don’t get it.  And because she’s so happy it makes the thought of sleep training her even more unappealing.  I mean, if she’s happy that’s all that matters, right?

I wish it was that simple.

She is extremely attached to nursing to sleep, and I need to break that association.  Not only is it getting harder to unlatch her without waking her, but no one else can put her down.

So starting tonight we are breaking that habit.  And it is not going to be fun.

Here’s the plan:

The new bedtime routine will begin at 6:30 with a bath.  I’ll then nurse her in our room (where her crib is), put her in her pjs, read two books, get her in her sleep sack and sing her her bedtime song (hers is Lavender Blue) while turning out the lights and turning on the sound machine.  And then –  and this is the tricky part – I will lay her in her crib – probably around 7.  She will look up at me, smile, and fall asleep.

There will be no crying.  This whole thing will cause me no anxiety whatsoever.

OK, seriously though, she will cry.  My plan is to do gradual checks.  I’m thinking I’ll play it by ear depending on the cry.  And gradually leave more and more time between checks.

With our son we had to do the full out let him cry because every time we went in he got more and more upset.  I hope this isn’t the case with her.

I don’t intent to cut out night feeds, but only after 4 hours from her last feed.  Any other wakeups I will check and console, like I did at bedtime.

Ugh, I was really hoping to avoid this whole sleep training thing.  I just think the longer I wait, the harder it will be.  I also know, having gone through it with my son, that it works.  The first few days are the hardest but then once she’s used to the new routine bedtime will be a lot less painful for all of us.

Wish us luck!!!! We’re going to need it!!

 

 

 

I Don’t Want to Sleep Train

I think I need to sleep train our 5 month old.  I really don’t want to – I mean who does?

With our son it was obvious that we needed to sleep train him.  He would only sleep on us and would not let us put him down.  And then he stopped being able to sleep with us.  So he basically just stopped sleeping.  I remember so clearly it was 1am the day before his 6 month birth date and he was awake, frantic after we had been in and out of his room countless times trying to get him back down.  I guess you can say we were doing the put down pick up method from 4 months on and it was not working.  We had an extremely overtired baby on our hands and we had to do something.  So we let him cry it out and it was fucking awful.  I hated every moment of it.  But it worked (eventually).

With our daughter I’d say there are three main problems when it comes to her sleep.

Problem #1: It takes me a long time to get her down for her naps.  
I nurse her to sleep and sometimes it can take up to 30 minutes.  She’ll get sleepy but wake up as soon as I take her off the boob.  This is a problem because I have to leave my 2 year old downstairs while I get her down.  He’s awesome for about 15 minutes reading books or colouring.  And I don’t want to put a show on every time.  I’m a big fan of nursing to sleep, I think it’s beautiful and sweet but at the end of the day it is an association that is just not working for us.  I need a quicker routine.  I need her to fall asleep on her own.

Problem #2: Her naps (in her crib) are super short.
She used to be an amazing napper, up to 3 hours at a time kind of thing.  And then it went to shit.  She’s now napping for about 30 minutes and waking up tired. Sometimes I’ll bring her into bed with me and get her back down and she will then sleep for another hour or two.  Bringing her into bed is not always an option. And once she starts crawling I don’t want to do this.

Problem #3: She’s waking up a lot in the night.
This is more a problem for me than for her.  She goes right back to sleep (most nights) and I don’t think she’s losing that much sleep.  I am though. And it’s starting to get to me – emotionally and mentally.  I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been feeling some of that old familiar anxiety and I know it’s because of lack of sleep.  Some nights I’ll bring her into bed with me (I did las night) and I can get a 3 or 4 hour stretch, but it’s not comfortable for me and I don’t see that as a sustainable solution.

So that’s where we’re at.

Now there are a few reasons why I don’t want to sleep train.  One, I don’t want her to cry.  This is our last baby and I feel like this is such a short time  in our lives I don’t want to go through that whole thing.  Like I said, I’ve been there before and I hated it.  Two, we’re in between the swaddle.  She’s outgrowing it but if I dont’ swaddle her she flips onto her belly and she wakes up because she hates being on her belly and she can’t flip back onto her back.  And three, I keep thinking things will just resolve themselves on their own.

Well it’s been 30 minutes and she’s awake.  And my son is still jumping and yelling in his crib before his nap.  I hate this whole baby sleep shit.

Anxiety, Moving to a Toddler Bed and Daycare

It’s 6:45 pm and I’m sitting on my couch eating goldfish crackers and drinking wine.  The crackers because we have no food in the house and the wine because it’s been one of those days.  Weeks really.

I felt very anxious today. I haven’t been sleeping because my sweet baby girl has not been sleeping (sleep regression? teething? who knows..) and I know that right there is the root of my anxiety.  I can only do so many nights of really really bad sleep before I start to crack.  I could feel the cracks forming this week and today they got bigger than me.

I was laying in bed with my daughter trying to extend her nap and I could see on the monitor that my son was up jumping, jumping, jumping in his crib.  I had put him down for his nap 30 minutes prior and he was exhausted.  And yet there he was jumping and yelling.  The red bars on the monitor were making me so angry.  And somehow that anger turned into anxiety.

I needed a break today.

So yeah, my son jumps in his crib.  A lot. It’s kind of what he does before he sleeps, which is totally crazy.  And then yesterday when I was changing his sheets I noticed that a piece of the metal grid thing, you know that thing that’s under the mattress, well I noticed that a small part of it is broken.  Not surprising.  I’m actually surprised he hasn’t broken the whole crib yet.  Which I feel could happen really at any point.  He’s not  baby anymore – he’s 2 years and 4 months old – and he really gives his all when he jumps.

So my husband and I have decided that it might be a good time to move him to a toddler bed.  More specifically – a mattress on the floor because I know he’ll try to jump and I don’t want him to hurt himself.

To say I’m nervous about this transition is an understatement.

Our plan is to talk to him about it for a bit before we do it.  We’re going to take him shopping for his bed and let him pick out a new comforter.  We’re then going to move everything out of his room except for a beanbag chair, some books and some stuffed animals – basically anything he can possibly climb or run into and hurt himself on is going.

I’m worried this move will mean the end of naps.  I need him to nap.  But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there I guess.

I also want to move him to a new bed soon because he’ll be experiencing a big change in a few months.  We found a really really great daycare/preschool that he’s going to go to in September.  When we did a tour a few weeks ago my husband and I both got a bit emotional about it.  It’s kind of perfect.

As amazing as it is, I still have mixed feelings about it.  I know it’ll be great for him in a lot of ways, but as hard as some days are, I’m really happy having him home.  He’s so amazing.  He’s talking more and more every day and man that kid is funny.  He’s also sweet and fun and I just love that I get to spend so much time with him.

The downside of having him home is that he demands a lot of my attention and I don’t always get a lot of quality time with my sweet baby girl – which is what I was worried about from the start.  She is such a sweet thing and she adores her big brother.  She is extremely social – she can be super fussy but as soon as I start talking and playing with her she perks right up.

But the biggest issue with having him home, and this comes back to my anxiety, is that I am feeling extremely stretched thin.  I need time to myself during the day and right now that’s just not happening.