“I’m the problem!”

I’m the root. I realised that tonight as I watched P2 wriggle, kick, jump, push covers off and attempt to escape out of her bed. I lost count to the amount of times I had to lay her back down and remind her that it’s sleep time. It took hours and that’s when I realised. I’m the problem!

Right from the start P2 fell asleep being comforted by me. By my boobies to be precise. She would always fall asleep having a feed. We coslept and on those nights she’d wake and feed willy nilly. When we were at home she’d spend her naps laying on me and this has only just recently stopped the past two maybe three weeks. Every bedtime and every disturbance in the night was sorted by me, out of choice.

I’ve blamed the dummy and her need for milk in the night as to why we have had 19 months of broken sleep. I’ve frequently said that both these things are her comforters but I don’t think they are anymore. It’s me! I’m the cause. I’m the problem. I’m the issue. So I’ve got to sort this one out.

I can’t just remove myself from the equation and except everything to rectify. That would just be completely cruel. She needs me and in a way, I’ve needed her! But watching her last night and tonight has been upsetting. She struggles because of me. She can’t self settle because of me. P1 didn’t have this problem. I wasn’t like this with her.

After doing extensive Internet reading and posting on my local mums Facebook page for advise I decided to try a new technique in the hope that gradually I’ll be able to do what most parents of 19 month old children do, leave the room at bedtime!! Three nights ago the way P2 fell asleep was with me laying alongside her mattress that’s on the floor, watching her feed herself her milk and then dozing off. I’d stopped holding the milk a few weeks ago when she started having naps upstairs in her bed rather than on me. Back when I was convinced milk was the problem.

Last night, and tonight, P2 has fallen asleep with me sitting up and slightly away from her mattress. It hasn’t gone smoothly, yesterday was actually much better than today but still as awful. I can’t remember the amount of times I had to lay her back down because she’d wriggled out of bed and towards me, or she was sitting up bouncing on her bottom, or reaching up for her sisters bed bars, or trying to make an escape for the door. The first night took 45 minutes. Tonight has taken just over an hour with many many more times where I had to lay her down.

The good thing is, she’s fallen asleep by herself both times. That’s the key to this according to all the sites I’ve read. As long as she begins to understand her own way of settling then we’re on a positive path. My plan is to get her to fall asleep by herself in around 30 minutes before I move further towards the door. It’s going to be gradual, the poor mite will have enough on her plate soon, but I realise now that it has to be done. We can’t keep living like this as a family. It’s just not fair.

Last night we actually got an amazing amount of sleep. P2 was asleep by 8:45 and I was asleep by 9, she did wake at 10:08 but went straight back to sleep. She then didn’t wake until 4am which is just amazing. I had to keep looking at the clock and my phone to make sure that the time was correct. Then this morning I had to physically wake her at 7:20. I’m hoping it’s not just a one off.

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Have you tried this technique? Succeeded or failed? I’d love to hear about your bedtime routines.

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3 comments

  1. Sounds like you are making progress with trying to get P2 to settle at night and hoping you’re all continuing to get more sleep. Jessica wanted me to sit next to her cot until she fell asleep when I was pregnant with Sophie – I started sitting in the chair and gradually moved further away until I was sitting outside the door. Now she likes it if I sit and feed Sophie in the chair next to her when she goes to bed, but if Sophie won’t settle, I get up and move into my room (where Sophie’s cot currently is) and continue the feed there and Jessica is usually fine with that as she knows I can hear her if she needs me x

  2. We have just been suffering from some sepearation anxiety where my little boy (18 months) was petrified if we left the room at all. Even if he fell asleep he just knew when we left the room and begun to howl. We tried night lights, staying with him, leaving him but in the end we decided to change our routine. We put a new handle on the door (to replaced the existing squeaky one) and then we have also put a radio in his room with classic fm on as they apparently have a bed time hour. Since then we have some good settling down to sleep and by himself. We have just spent 2 nights in hospital this week and I had to get my husband to bring the radio in because we just couldn’t get him to sleep (it was a very noisy childrens ward though!) but what a difference when you do get something right it make a difference and you don’t feel as exhausted. Its a long process but you will get there. xxx

    • lifewithpinkprincesses

      P2 is also going through some separation anxiety since last Friday when she panicked on the school run and thought she’d lost me. I could see her at all times. I think she suddenly realised I’m not always there.

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