Prima - posted on 05/26/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )
My husband and I are trying to sleep train my 20 month old daughter,it is NOT going well at all. First of all, let me say that she is a happy, loving, and very sweet little girl. I feel terrible for all the suffering this has caused her and everyone in our family. To give you some background, we successfully sleep trained her at 3 months, and she used to be a wonderful sleeper. Then, we moved, and everything went haywire.
After the move, she reverted to needing to rock & nurse to sleep, and wakes up between 2-3 times per night. To make matters worse, sometimes she gets herself too awake in the middle of the night, and can take up to four hours to fall back to sleep. She shares a room with her older sister (who needs to get up for school in the morning), so I had been rushing into her so she didn't wake her sister. But, after 9 months of this routine, I was exhausted. My husband and I decided it was time to take action.
So, we began sleep training. We've been at it for nearly a month now, with no success. She has a consisted bedtime and routine (bath, pj's, teeth, stories, & snuggles). Then I put her in her crib, kiss her, and tell her goodnight. Then the adventure begins. Blood curdling screams for about 30 minutes until she falls asleep, during which I check on her every 5-10 minutes. This I can handle. But the fallout of this process is that she has now become afraid to sleep, or even go anywhere near her room. During story and snuggle time, she cries and screams in anticipation of being put in her crib. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, she absolutely refuses to go back to sleep. She screams for me to take her downstairs, and no matter how calm and reassuring I am with her, she will not be soothed. This goes on for about 4 hours of this every night and she finally exhausts herself and falls asleep...for about an hour. Then it starts all over. Crying and awake, for hours. She will be awake until 5 in the morning. This is obviously a problem for us, but it is a bigger problem because she has two older siblings who need their rest for school, and there has been several nights that her crying has kept her brother and sister awake (even with fans on). The only way she sleeps now is if I lie down with her and nurse her for hours.
On top of this, she is also refusing to nap. If she does crash & take a nap, she will sleep for 15 minutes, and then wake up screaming. I find the only way to get her to nap is to take her for a drive in the car.
I've spoken with her pediatrician, who recommended the book "How to Raise Your Spirited Child". But it didn't really offer any concrete advice. I am at my wits end. The whole point of sleep training was to teach her to fall asleep on her own while weaning her from nursing. I feel we have reverted right back to where we began, and worse. We all need sleep and no one is getting it, but she simply cannot sleep with me anymore!
PLEASE, any advice, encouragement, support or suggestions to help us get some sleep! Thank you so much!