Nap nasties, part six hundred and something…

My daughter hates to sleep. I’ve bitched about this any number of times. I used to fantasize about her being tired and going to sleep on her own. I gave up on that fantasy. Now I fantasize that she will fall asleep with any amount of help necessary but without screaming for a half an hour. I’m about to give up on that as well.

I really don’t know what else I can do. She’s nearly a year old and fights me tooth and nail about sleep. I’ve tried rocking her. No go. She stiffens up and arches her back in an attempt to leap free of my arms. I’ve tried getting her to sleep with me in my bed for naps (and bed time). No go. She’s much more interested in crawling all over the bed and pulling on my hair or lips or nose or anything else she can grab. If I try to snuggle her and hold her close to me she gets angry, kicks at me and starts crying which makes me feel incredibly rejected.  I’ve tried holding her and singing to her. No go. See above comment on rocking. I’ve tried bouncing her on the exercise ball, which used to work marginally when she was a really young thing. No go. Same issues as holding and rocking. I’ve tried putting her to sleep with music. I’ve tried noise machines. I’ve tried silence. Nothing. I’ve tried patting her butt and rubbing her back. All that elicits is a prolonged acrobatic performance in her crib. I’ve tried sitting in the rocking chair in her room with her as she is in her crib so that she knows she’s not alone when she’s in her crib. HA! Yeah right. All she does then is stand up and rattle the bars on from her crib while she screams at me.

I swore to myself from long before she was born that I would never let her CIO (cry it out), but when nothing else worked, I resorted to that. Everyone I know who has used the CIO method says that it takes about a week and then their babies got used to the idea of going to sleep and would fuss for a few moments and then fall asleep. A few moments fussing would be a god send to me. She cries and screams (and I’m sure curses my name in baby-ese) for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour which of course gets me crying as well. This has been going on for, oh let’s see, a month now. Doesn’t look like she’s getting used to it.

I’ve been told any number of times that sometimes babies just need to cry to decompress before sleeping. That, however, is not what MJ is doing. There is no decompression. She cries herself into hysterics, gasping and hiccuping, and then passes out from sheer exhaustion whether I’m with her or not. Doesn’t really sound like she’s decompressing to me. I know it does nothing but make me upset and tense.

I’ve also been told by many many people that her aversion to sleep is a sign of how intelligent she is. “She’s just so interested in the world that she doesn’t want to sleep.” Yeah. Great. I’d gladly trade any number of IQ points for just one week of sleep without screaming and crying.

She’s 10 a 1/2 months old and this has been going on since day one, multiple times a day.  There is nothing wrong with her, no inner ear issues, no tummy issues.  I’ve check with the pediatrician about this  any number of times.  She just hates to sleep.

I love my baby and I love being a mother.  Motherhood would be pure bliss to me if she would just be willing to sleep.  I can’t help myself, but damnit, I resent her for this.  I’m not proud, but  yes, I admit it.  It’s gotten to the point where I dread naps and bed time.  I don’t go through a single day without crying to myself over this.

I’m really at my wit’s end.   I don’t know how much longer I can stand this.

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~ by CableGirl on Tuesday, October 2, 2007.

11 Responses to “Nap nasties, part six hundred and something…”

  1. just a suggestion, not sure if it works on her, trying combing her hair with a very soft comb, or hair brush.
    would love to know the result 🙂

  2. That is horrible. Sorry I don’t know any advice but hang in there. I’m sure it has to get better.

    I hope she falls straight to sleep tonight!

  3. OK, first (I know you don’t like the crying it out method but…) get the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr Weissbluth. When babies don’t get enough sleep, it snowballs on them and it becomes harder for them to get to sleep. It also takes a while for them to get on a schedule if they haven’t been on one. My Little Peach is 2, she takes a 2-3 hour nap every afternoon, sometimes she still cries to get there, sometimes not. My Little Man is 11 months, he is like your baby…will not be rocked, doesn’t go for cuddling. I know I am breaking a big rule here, but I put him down with a bottle, it works as far as I’m concerned…you go with what works. Good luck.

  4. We nearly lost all sanity trying to get the boys to sleep on their own. I too had vowed never to be a CIO mom. “Back then” even Ferber (Dr. King of CIO) didn’t have suggestions though for twins. Eventually I had to do it. Like you, nothing was working. My guys would tag team each other – one would blood curling scream for 20 minutes then pass off the task to his brother who did his turn for 20 minutes – for over 2 hours. A night. For weeks. But eventually they gave up and now I can put 3 kids down in an hour. By myself.

    But guess what? THEY DON’T REMEMBER IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot stress how much this is not something that damages your relationship.

    Find whatever method works for you and you will both get through it. I promise.

  5. I am so sorry you are having such a hard time with the sleep issue.

  6. Oh, wow does this bring back memories! My now five-year-old near pushed me over the edge with this issue. It took almost three months of 1-2 1/2 hour scream-athons before she finally gave up. I’d have never survived had I not been such a stubborn soul myself. I used to sit outside the nursery door on the floor and sob right along with her. I remember being in total shock the first night she fell asleep without screeching. I had to go back in and check to make sure she was still breathing – scared me to death! Anyway – hang in there! If you are consistent, and follow the same exact routine for a good long stretch, you’ll eventually win this one. Following an exact non-varying routine ended up being the key for us. You have my heartfelt sympathies – hugs to you!

  7. Man, that sucks. 😦 {{{{hugs}}}}

  8. I just want to say thanks to everyone who has offered support or advice. This is really killing me.
    Childlife yeah, I’m with you on sitting outside the nursery and sobbing along with her.

    Child Life, SMID and Nap WardenI hope this doesn’t sound horrible, but it makes me feel a lot better knowing that you ladies have had the same troubles.

  9. I’m so sorry you’re going through this day after day after day. My guy used to fight me- I spent a lot of time driving him around until he’d pass out, just so I could have a day or two a week where it wasn’t a monster battle and I could get some rest too!

  10. My older brother was just like your little one, except that he would allow my mom to rock him but never stop. haha. When she’d try to put him in the crib he’d scream and throw himself around the whole nine. With me, 8 years later, a Dr. came out with a CIO type of method that she used for me and had a lot of success. My mom would put me in bed, sing or talk to me for a minute and then leave. Cue me screaming. She would wait for 2 minutes and go back in NOT PICK ME UP but just pat my butt, rub my back and say “mommy loves you” and then she’d do that again. For 4 nights it was a lot of trips back in the room but each night it took less time for me to give up and sleep and going in every 2 minutes made her feel less horrible and me know that mom will always come back. I am super close with my mom and I LOVE BEDTIME. haha Once I got over it I loved getting in my bed and going to sleep, my mom actually couldn’t sit and rock because I’d whine to lay in my crib..so it did not make me hate bedtime nor fear anything related. I am not saying it will work for everyone but I think it’s a good happy medium to the CIO stuff.

  11. Man, I feel for you so I am back. With The Little Man, if he cries for to long and I know he isn’t going to sleep, I plunk him in the stroller and we all go for a long walk. He usually falls asleep in the stroller. I don’t know if this is possible for you, just a thought.

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