I love my daughter more than anything in the world except my son of coarse. But that being said, I think I have created a monster and I don't know what to do about it. Its been said if momma ain't happy no one is, well in our house if Evie ain't happy no one is!
They say to put your baby down to sleep when she is drowsy not asleep so they learn to comfort themselves. They say not to jump every time they cry, but give them a minute or two and see if they can fix the problem on their own. By "They" I mean just about every child expert on the planet. Unfortunately I did not listen. As a new parent at first I followed all the rules, but it didn't work. First you have to understand that I didn't think I would ever have kids. My husband and I had been trying for 9 years with no success. So when I was pregnant I was SUPER paranoid something would go wrong. I just would not be able to handle that. Then when my princess was born it got worse. I would watch her sleep in the bassinet all night long. Suddenly it would be 3 or 4 in the morning and I'd had no sleep. Then I would put my hand on her chest or back every few minutes to make sure she was breathing. I desperately feared finding a cold blue baby next to me. So after about 3 weeks of this she was moved from the bassinet into my arms. I know I know this is a Big NO, NO. But I had to sleep. Plus, I am such a light sleeper the little sound of her Binky popping out of her mouth would wake me up. So there we were snug as bugs in a rug. Then I found out I was pregnant and decided that before the new baby was here Evie would be sleeping in her crib. Right!
Every women who has been pregnant knows how tired it can make you. Add taking care of an infant on top of that. I was exhausted. I couldn't get out of bed at times to go get her when she cried. I even had to stop breastfeeding because I was so wore out. A decision I regretted later. We'll talk about that later. So what I ended up doing was having everything I would or could need siting on a table next to the bed. Bottles were ready with a pre-measured dispenser for the formula all I had to do was pour and shake. Some days we didn't get out of bed.
Needless to say time went on and on. Then my son was born. Now I had no excuse. I tried to put her in her bed, but she cried and screamed and I cried. So that didn't last long. I couldn't just let her scream no matter what all the experts said. It was pure torture to me and sounded like it was to her to. The screaming was in part just a show to get what she wanted. I know that and I knew that then. But not entirely so. Part of it is due to a toddlers inability to control and understand their emotions. She knows I'll come back but she's afraid to be alone and doesn't know when I'll be back. Think of that from her perspective its really scary. Plus, she knows I could come and get her but I'm not. Why not?
Remember I said I always slept with her in my arms. Well at 15 months she doesn't sit still for anything. So now she wants to sleep in my arms. She is tired, but doesn't want to sit still. You can see the problem. So at first we started turning on the TV until she fell asleep. OK. But who has time to lay around watching TV waiting for the baby to fall asleep. The house needs cleaned, the baby needs taken care of, I need a shower. You get the picture.
Then the newborn needs attention and everything starts all over. Evie either watches her movie or becomes jealous either way now both are awake crabby and mad they need mommy and can't sleep because their brother or sister is crying to loud. I tell Evie mommy loves you wait a minute let me take care of brother. He's the easier one you just feed him and change his diaper 9 out of 10 times that's the end of his fussing and hes back to bed. In his own bed. Which is the bassinet next to the bed.
Lately the movie doesn't work. She's tired but will not lay still even in my arms. I end up strapping her down in her stroller reclining it all the way back and walking around until she falls asleep. Granted this is excellent exercise, but not at 10 in the evening. Oh, and I start our bed time routine around 7, but it usually takes me until 10 or 11 to get her to fall asleep. I know this is my fault she has never learned to console herself. She can't just lay there and fall asleep and I can't let her just cry for hours and hours. I know I'll probably have to because something has to be done.
We have recently decided that this has to end. When Christopher gets old enough to see he's missing out we are going to be in a world of trouble. The bed is only so big. Dad would be moved to the couch, and I already don't see much of him as it is. Not that he doesn't help, he does ALOT. But I can't remember the last time we got to cuddle for more than a few seconds. Well talk about this later to.
Our pediatrician said to start small and slow. Put her in her crib once she starts crying set a timer for 5 minutes then if she's still crying go get her. Do this for the first week then move up 10 minutes and so on. It will be a few weeks before I let you know if it works or not. I haven't started yet. I'm really afraid to.